10:16 am
18 May 2024

Jaume Jettisons No.2 Seed ElShorbagy In German Open Shock

5 Apr 2024

While Spain's Bernat Jaume upset No.2 seed Marwan ElShorbagy to provide the biggest shock on the second day of the German Open Presented by Sportwerk, home favourites Raphael Kandra and Saskia Beinhard delighted the Hamburg crowd by booking their places in the quarter-finals of the PSA World Tour Bronze event.

In a match that saw 21 decisions and two conduct strokes, Jaume found himself ahead in all three games despite strong fight backs from world No.9 ElShorbagy. The final game saw a lot of interruptions, but the Spaniard kept ahead, with several good drops and closed out the third game 11-5 to take his place in the quarter-finals at Sportwerk Hamburg.

"I don't think it was his best day," said Jaume after the match, "Inside the chaos I think I stayed more calm than him. I think that first game was very crucial. We were playing some good squash and I carried on the momentum and I'm really happy about that. It's a very big win. It's my first win against a top ten player, and he's a legend of the game so it's going to stay with me forever."

In an intense final match of the day, home favourite Raphael Kandra produced a sensational performance to defeat Switzerland's Yannick Wilhelmi. Wilhelmi had a fast start, quickly pushing to a 4-0 lead, but the No.5 seed fought back, and in front of a packed Hamburg crowd, used a mixture of accuracy and physicality to battle back to 9-8.

At 9-9, Kandra earned a first game ball with a tight squeeze on the left wall, but after the German hit the tin, the Swiss No.3 took the tie-break to take 1/0 lead. Kandra looked more convincing at the start of the second game, taking a quick 4-1 lead. Wilhelmi played some quality squash, but the German comfortably converted his lead 11-6 to restore parity in the match.

The match livened up as most rallies saw one of the players diving across the court to retrieve accurate shot after accurate shot. The spectacle kept the entire Sportwerk centre on the edge of their seats as the pair traded games to a decisive fifth game.

The physical, diving squash seemed to have worn the Swiss player down, and Kandra took a 4-1 lead with lightning fast reactions to score a forehand drop from a fast shot into his body. Kandra pushed on and claimed victory in the dramatic five-setter, encapsulated with a pin-point backhand drop shot on match ball. The home favourite will face No.3 seed Mohamed ElSherbini in the quarter-finals

"I have still have a lot of energy left in the tank," said Kandra after the match. "It was a hard brutal five-setter, but the pace suited my game and I'm glad I got through."

The only other German to reach the second round was world No.64 Saskia Beinhard, who claimed revenge over Switzerland's Cindy Merlo in the women's event after a first round defeat just 23 days earlier at the Optasia Championships in England. Beinhard carried the momentum from her first round comeback against Egypt's Rana Ismail into the match, and looked to be retrieving well from the back corners.

The No.8 seed had the first chance of taking the first game at 10-8, but the Swiss player levelled the match with a straight drive, followed by an ace to make it 10-10. After a close-fought tie-break, Beinhard took the advantage with a tight squeeze on the left wall. From there, the German champion controlled the match, dispatching Merlo with quick-fire 11-5, 11-4 games to take her place in the quarter-finals to face No.4 seed Salma Hany.