ElShorbagy Halts Gawad Comeback To Reach Black Ball Quarters
5 Mar 2023
England's world No.5 Mohamed ElShorbagy made it seven successive wins over the returning former world No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad to earn his place in the last eight of the Black Ball Open after a nail-biting five-game battle in the PSA World Tour Gold event in at Black Ball Sporting Club in Cairo, Egypt.
ElShorbagy will now play world No.3 Ali Farag in a repeat of the last two PSA Men's World Championship finals.
"I'm very happy to get through, Gawad has been out for a very long time," said ElShorbagy.
"I've played Gawad all my life and the worst time to play him is when he's not feeling as fit as he'd like to be because that's when he goes for it. I hate that because he's super talented and you know you're going to have to do a lot of work when you play him. It's amazing to see him back on tour and playing well, he definitely took it up another level compared to his first match.
"It's to be expected, he's going to get better every day and every tournament. It's good to have him back, but I'm glad to get through."
Farag - also returning after an injury break - overcame a one-game deficit to beat fellow Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar 9-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-3.
Meanwhile, women's No.6 seed Rowan Elaraby saw her tournament come to an end at the hands of unseeded Belgian Tinne Gilis. Elaraby was forced to concede the match at 10-10 in the fourth game due to illness.