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Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2019
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El Shorbagy packs off Ghosal to enter quarters

Top seed to take on his brother Marwan next as four Egyptian players qualify for last-eight phase
Mohamed El Shorbagy Stretches To Return The Ball Against India Saurav Ghosal
Mohamed El Shorbagy stretches to return the ball against India’s Saurav Ghosal in the round of 16 match of the PSA World Championships. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

With the dust having settled on the first three rounds of the Professional Squash Association’s World Championship in Doha, Egypt stands tall as the nation with the most number of representatives in the last-eight stage.

Four from that country, including brothers Mohamed and Marwan El Shorbagy, Zahed Salem and Tarek Momen have made the cut for the quarterfinals. Peruvian Diego Elias, German Simon Rosner, Englishman James Willstrop and New Zealander Paul Coll are the others in contention.

Mohamed, winner in Doha on three occasions (2013, ’15 and ’17), proved to be far superior to India’s Saurav Ghosal. The second-ranked Egyptian overcame the World No 10’s challenge 3-0 (11-6, 11-8, 14-12).


  • Zahed Salem (EGY) bt Miguel Rodriguez (COL) 3-1 (8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9)
  • Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-0 (11-4, 11-8, 11-4)
  • Paul Coll (NZL) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-2 (9-11, 14-12, 11-9, 6-11, 16-14)
  • Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-0 (11-6, 11-8, 14-12).

Marwan also won his round of 16 match relatively quickly, defeating compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar

in straight games while Salem had to endure four games before emerging the winner against Miguel Rodriguez of Colombia. Coll had to strive hard against Egypt’s Omar Mosaad to come through in five games.

While Mohamed and Marwan will face off against one another in the last-eight stage, Elias will meet Momen, Rosner will take on Willstrop and Coll will lock horns with Salem in the other quarterfinal matches on Wednesday.

In the Mohamed-Ghosal game, the Indian started well and matched the taller Egyptian point for point until 6-6. But then, he had a momentary lapse of concentration and Mohamed pounced. He never gave Ghosal another chance in the first game.

Ghosal started the second game strongly and even led 5-1 before the higher-ranked player caught up with him. Though the Indian came close at 6-7, he had already lost the momentum and the game.

The two players gave it their all in the third, and it was easily the most entertaining of the contest. They attained parity at 5-5, 11-11 and 12-12 before the Egyptian closed things out.

Mohamed said he had to work hard for the win. “It was a tough match, and Saurav pushed me. I didn’t want to go into a fourth game and wanted to wrap it up fast, but he made things difficult for me. At the end of the day, it was a great result,” he told Inside Qatar.

The 28-year-old said he was looking forward to competing against his younger brother in the quarterfinals.

“While playing against him, I want to be emotionally as calm as possible. He’s younger by two years, and we know each other’s games pretty well. So whoever remains calmer will win. I’ve taken the title in Doha three times and have been a finalist six times, but that’ll count for little when I get into that glass court,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ghosal rued his missed chances.

“There’re no second chances against players of Mohamed’s calibre. While being tied 6-6 in the first game, I narrowly lost three points back-to-back. If I hadn’t, I feel the result would’ve been different. I’ll have to go back to the drawing board and start all over again,” he said.

While the quarterfinals will be played on Wednesday, the semifinals and finals are scheduled for Thursday and Friday respectively.