Mighty Marwan Takes Out Older Brother Mohamed To Make El Gouna Semis
12 Apr 2017
Egypt's world No.5 Marwan Elshorbagy claimed a second successive Tour victory over older brother and defending champion Mohamed Elshorbagy to reach the El Gouna International Open semi-finals for the first time. His opponent in the final PSA World Series event of the season in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of El Gouna will be world No.1 Gregory Gaultier.
Marwan claimed his first ever win over his Mohamed during February's Windy City Open, resulting in an outpouring of emotion from both brothers in Chicago.
And lightning struck twice in El Gouna as the younger sibling outfought and outplayed former world No.1 Mohamed - who looked well off the pace - with an impeccable display. The 23-year-old from Alexandria prevailed 11-5, 11-2, 11-4 in just 24 minutes.
"Maybe today it was a little bit different than the first time I beat him, the first time I beat him was the hardest time for me," said Marwan.
"I was thinking about it too much when I was leading in the fourth and fifth games in Chicago. Today it was a bit different because I didn't want to let the emotions go to my head. Of course the emotions were still there, but maybe I was dealing with it better. I was focused from the first point to the last one.
"This is probably the best match I've played all season. Today couldn't have gone any better for me, but I think it was a bad day at the office for him. It's a big win for me, but I can't celebrate it. It's been a tough season for him, he'll come back stronger though I'm sure. He just needs a good break."
Elshorbagy junior and Gaultier will face off in a repeat of the Windy City Open final, with the Frenchman overcoming New Zealand's Paul Coll by a 3/1 margin to extend his career-best unbeaten run to 17 matches.
Gaultier, who is targeting a fourth PSA World Tour title in a row, had an almost metronomic quality about him in the early stages as he dominated the court, with the 'French General' going two games ahead.
A resurgent Coll halved the deficit with victory in the third, but Gaultier soon found his way back on top again to close out an 11-6, 11-6, 11-13, 11-6 victory, reaching his seventh consecutive Tour semi.
"I felt a bit flat tonight," said Gaultier.
"In the first two games, I made the good choices on court, but I should have won in three. He plays at such a pace and I feel I fell into his pace instead of pushing and forcing mine a bit.
"When you are a bit too confident, you can fall in the trap of getting a bit too passive and not aggressive enough. I just didn't push myself enough. I have a lot of time for Paul. He is one of the players that have improved the most. He managed to break James [Willstrop] and other players in the top 10."