Mohamed ElShorbagy Survives Ibrahim Scare To Set Up Singapore Sibling Quarter
15 Nov 2023
World No.3 and defending champion Mohamed ElShorbagy came through an entertaining five-game contest with Egypt's Youssef Ibrahim in round two of the VITAGEN Singapore Open to set up a quarter final meeting with brother Marwan ElShorbagy.
Ibrahim led the head-to-head record coming into the match but ElShorbagy senior won the most recent encounter, in September's Qatar Classic, coming through a brutal clash in 81 minutes, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
ElShorbagy looked to utilise his straight drop to drag Ibrahim up the court and put work into the legs of the talented Egyptian. Ibrahim continued to fire the ball short despite the Englishman tidying up many scenarios, resulting in several entertaining rallies. After securing a 2/1 lead, ElShorbagy lost his concentration slightly which allowed Ibrahim a way back into the match, which he took with style to draw level.
ElShorbagy is known for his mental resilience and showed that again as he raced out to a 5-1 lead in the all-important fifth game and maintained the pressure to earn himself six match balls at 10-4, converting at the first time of asking.
"He's one of the most talented players on tour, I'm a fan of his game," said Elshorbagy of his Egyptian opponent after his win.
"There is no doubt that he's going to win a lot of the major events one day. This is actually his first full season on tour so there is so much learning for him to do. He's already a nightmare to play, he was probably the worst player to have in my first match but I'm pleased to win and looking forward to another match."
Younger brother Marwan ElShorbagy needed four games to defeat France's Sebastien Bonmalais. The Frenchman was arguably playing some of the best squash of his career but after failing to win game three, pulled up injured at 2/1 4-3 and was forced to concede the match. The ElShorbagy brothers will be joined by Egyptian duo Ali Farag and Youssef Soliman in the last eight, who recorded wins to reach the last eight.
In the women's draw, all four matches went to seeding with England's No.2 seed Georgina Kennedy the only one to surrender a game as she battled past a spirited Melissa Alves to reach the quarter finals. She will be up against No.5 seed Salma Hany, who needed just 31 minutes to defeat recent Ace Malaysia Cup runner-up Rachel Arnold.