PSA Day Five Roundup

ElShorbagy Brothers to Face Off in Quarter-Finals ...

ElShorbagy Brothers to Face Off in Quarter-Finals

Egyptian brothers Mohamed and Marwan ElShorbagy will go head-to-head in Doha, Qatar after they booked their places in the quarter-finals of the 2019-20 PSA Men’s World Championship almost two years after meeting in the title decider of the 2017 event.

Th ElShorbagy siblings became the first brothers in history to contest the final of the prestigious World Championship, with Mohamed winning a dramatic five-game thriller in Manchester to finally lift the biggest title on the men’s tour.

Mohamed – who already boasts a formidable record in Doha after reaching World Championship finals here in 2012 and 2014 in addition to winning three Qatar Classic titles – dispatched India’s Saurav Ghosal in straight games today to book his spot in a ninth World Championship quarter-final.

“This is my fourth tournament this season and this will be my third meeting with Marwan,” said World No.2 Mohamed.

“It is normal because we both play in the later stages of the tournament. It is a unique situation for our sport, but we both give something different to the sport and I am glad to be a part of it.”

Marwan also claimed a 3-0 victory as he made it five wins in a row against an out of sorts Mohamed Abouelghar. World No.8 Abouelghar was fortunate to make it through his round two match with Hong Kong’s Leo Au after two controversial decisions stroke decisions in the closing stages of the fixture, and he never really got going in his match with the lower ranked ElShorbagy.

The World No.10 dominated proceedings and managed the cold court conditions well as he did all the attacking against a passive Abouelghar, who is normally one of the top shot-making talents on the PSA Tour, winning 11-4, 11-8, 11-4 in just 30 minutes.

“Mohamed is a very good player, he plays at a very fast pace and likes to go short quickly, so I had to make sure I started really sharp and started better than I did two days ago [against Nicolas Mueller],” Marwan said.

“I just want to focus on the rest of the day, I have some stretching to do and when tomorrow comes I will think about playing Mohamed, I don’t have to think about it today.”

New Zealand’s Paul Coll prevented it from being an Egyptian clean sweep on the day as he prevailed in a brutal match with 2015 runner-up Omar Mosaad which, at 119 minutes, is the longest World Championship fixture since 2017.

The match was a monumental battle, with the fifth game – which was littered with refereeing decisions – lasting over half an hour. Coll looked to have booked his last eight berth after going 10-7 ahead in the decider, but Mosaad was able to save all three match balls, before then saving another four in the ensuing tie-break.

The Egyptian then had two match balls of his own, but World No.5 Coll managed to fight back from both. The Kiwi was finally able to get the win over the line thanks to another decision on his eighth match ball, with a no let decision given against Mosaad to send Coll through to the quarter-finals.

“I am very relieved because it was really scrappy squash there at the end,” said a breathless Coll shortly after the match.

“There weren’t many flowing rallies, so it became tough mentally and the ball was getting soft, so I just had to keep it together and I am happy that I came through out the other side. I knew I just had to keep on it mentally and I always thought that I should have closed it out earlier. In the end, I got a bit more positive, a bit more aggressive and I took the game to him and I was happy to close it out on that final match ball.”

He will take on Egypt’s World No.16 Zahed Salem, who upset Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez to win in four games. Rodriguez had won seven of their previous eight matches on the PSA Tour coming into the match and prevailed in a scrappy 102-minute battle the last time they met at March’s Grasshopper Cup, despite Salem holding three match balls against the World No.9.

Rodriguez came back to within one point after going five match balls down in the fourth to evoke memories of that win in Zurich, but Salem held his nerve to complete an 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9 victory.

“I’m happy to be through to the quarter-finals, it’s the first time for me at the World Championship,” said Salem afterwards.

“This tournament is important for everyone, it’s a World Championship. I’ve given my best, I have had tough matches, I’ve played so well and I’m proud of my performances. It’s good to be playing in the quarters and I’m looking forward to it.”

Day Five Results:
[14] Zahed Salem (Egy) 3-1 [8] Miguel Rodriguez (Col)         8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9 (74m)
[9] Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy) 3-0 [7] Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy) 11-4, 11-8, 11-4 (30m)
[4] Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-2 [12] Omar Mosaad (Egy)       9-11, 14-12, 11-9, 6-11, 16-14 (119m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Egy) 3-0 [10] Saurav Ghosal (Ind)     11-6, 11-8, 14-12 (50m)

The quarter-finals take place on Wednesday November 13 with four matches in store at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex. Play begins at 16:00 (GMT+3) and will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) or the PSA Facebook page.