6:12 am
22 May 2024

Giantkiller Lee Licks ElShorbagy To Gatecrash Optasia Quarters

24 Mar 2023

English wildcard Charlie Lee built on his impressive round one win at the Optasia Championship in London when he defeated compatriot and world-number-one-chasing Mohamed Elshorbagy in four games to advance to the PSA World Tour Gold event's quarter-finals at The Wimbledon Club.

ElShorbagy looked to be carrying a slight injury throughout the contest which Lee took full advantage of as he remained focused and sharp, moving the former world No.1 ElShorbagy into all four corners and utilising his front court skill set to turn the screw on the former World Champion. After securing a 2/1 lead, world No.58 Lee reached 9-3 in the fourth game and despite a comeback from the No.3 seed, Lee closed the game out 11-9 to claim the biggest win of his career to date.

"Mo probably wasn't at his full potential today but I'm very happy with the win," said the jubilant Lee later. "He's a legend of the sport and I have so much admiration for him and have looked up to him my whole career. He's probably my first squash idol. To get the win here is really surreal. That's all, really!

"It nearly didn't happen at the end. 9-3 to 10-9 was a little shaky. He went into that unstoppable mode and the ball died off a little bit. But I was really happy to protect the lead and get the win in the end. I think that's a testament to the work I've been doing for a long time. It all pays off. What an evening!"

Lee's result was the only upset of the night as Egyptian trio Ali Farag, Youssef Soliman and Mazen Hesham all booked their anticipated places in the last eight.