Doha, Qatar: Bristol-based Egyptian brothers Mohamed and Marwan El Shorbagy remain on course for a quarterfinal clash at the 2019-20 PSA Men’s World Championship after both players claimed their round three spots at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha, Qatar.
World No.2 Mohamed and World No.10 Marwan became the first brothers in history to contest the men’s World Championship final when they met in the title decider of the Manchester event in December 2017, and both players moved one step closer to a rematch after respective wins over England’s Adrian Waller and Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller.
El Shorbagy was caused plenty of problems by World No.17 Waller, who played at a fast tempo and dominated large parts of the fixture. However, unforced errors ultimately proved to be his downfall as he failed to capitalise on leads in all three games as ElShorbagy won 13-11, 11-9, 11-9.
26-year-old Marwan faced a stern test against World No.27 Mueller and initially went a game down after the lower ranked player built on an 8-0 lead to take control. But ElShorbagy had won their four previous matches and he drew on that experience to impose himself on the match from the second game onwards to complete an 5-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 victory.
His opponent for a place in the last eight will be No.7 seed Mohamed Abouelghar, who snuck past Hong Kong’s World No.30 Leo Au by the slimmest of margins, with two controversial stroke decisions right at the death seeing him edge an exciting 68-minute battle by an 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 4-11, 12-10 margin.
The match was an intriguing tactical affair, with Abouelghar dominating the first two games against a disinterested looking Au who struggled to get to grips wth the Egyptian’s shot-making talents. But Au looked like a different man as he returned to court after the game break, taking advantage of the cold conditions on court as he lobbed the ball to the back of the court time and time again, and he duly drew level.
The fifth went to a tie-break, when Au received a stroke against him after the referee adjudged him to have taken Abouelghar’s line after a drop, and the decision was upheld after an Au video review. That lost review proved crucial as Abouelghar was awarded with another stroke at match ball in a similar situation, meaning Au was unable to query the decision as Abouelghar advanced into the next round.
Also through to the next round is New Zealand’s World No.5 Paul Coll, who cruised past former World No.5 Borja Golan in straight games after an immaculate performance saw him win 11-7, 11-4, 11-8.
“It has been a good tournament so far but I have got eyes on much further down the line,” Coll said.
“I am just taking it match-by-match and not getting caught up in it. I am really happy today but I am also looking ahead to my next match.”
He will play 2015 runner-up Omar Mosaad, who defeated Syed Azlan Amjad in a comfortable 3-0 victory as the Qatari player made his return from injury after being struck with the ball in his opening round match with Spain’s Iker Pajares Bernabeu.
Colombia’s No.8 Miguel Rodriguez and Egypt’s Zahed Salem were the other winners on day three as they beat Scotland’s Alan Clyne and World Junior Champion Mostafa Asal, respectively.