Emotional night as younger brother triumphs again
By SEAN REUTHE
Egyptian World No.5 Marwan ElShorbagy claimed a second successive victory over older brother and defending champion Mohamed to set up a semi-final clash with World No.1 Gregory Gaultier in the 2017 El Gouna International Squash Open, World Series tournament.
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 Marwan outfought and outplayed his brother – who looked well of the pace – with an impeccable display seeing the 23-year-old Egyptian prevail in just 24 minutes by an 11-5, 11-2, 11-4 scoreline.
“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.”
Marwan and Gaultier will face off in a repeat of the Windy City Open final, with Gaultier overcoming New Zealand’s Paul Coll by a 3-1 margin to extend his unbeaten run to 17 matches.
The Frenchman, 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 PSA World Tour semi-final.
“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.”
2017 El Gouna International Squash Open, El Gouna, Egypt.
Quarter-Finals (Top Half):
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-2, 11-4 (24m)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Paul Coll (NZL) 3-1: 11-6, 11-6, 11-13, 11-6 (72m)
Quarter-Final (Bottom Half, To Be Played April 12):
Fares Dessouky (EGY) v Diego Elias (PER)
 Simon Rösner (GER) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
Pictures courtesy of PSA