Friday, June 21, 2024

Qatar Squash Classic: Hesham and ElShorbagy serve up controversy

Egypt’s Mazen Hesham claimed that he would have taken the loss had opponent Mohamed ElShorbagy hit a clean winner on serve following a highly controversial final point at the Qatar Classic on Thursday.

With Hesham holding match ball in a pulsating last eight clash in Doha, the Egyptian served with the Englishman bent over and appeared not ready to receive.

However, Hesham duly served on his backhand before ElShorbagy seemingly played a half-hearted shot to the floor and side wall, towards the front wall.

Hesham claimed the win, the referee concurred and handed the Egyptian a come-from-behind 8-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 12-10 victory over 76 minutes.

ElShorbagy was left furious with the decision. Hesham said of the incident: “Think about it, if I play the serve and he plays it into the front wall, he was going to take it and I’m fine with that.”

Had ElShorbagy left the serve or put into the sidewall, the WSF rule 5.10 states: “A let is allowed if the receiver is not ready to return the serve and does not attempt to do so. However, if that serve is a fault, the server loses the rally.”

It was certainly a bizarre ending, with social media siding with both players, that Hesham should have waited, or that ElShorbagy was in the wrong to play on.

ElShorbagy had come into the game with a perfect record against the Egyptian, having won all 11 of the times they’ve played on tour.

In other last eight matches, Diego Elias saw off Karim Abdel Gawad 3-1, Ali Farag beat Tarek Momen by the same scoreline, while Joel Makin advanced to the last four with a 3-0 victory over fellow Briton Greg Lobban.

In the women’s semi-finals, Nour El Sherbini beat Tinne Gilis while Hania El Hammamy overcame Amanda Sobhy.

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