Clean sweep for Egypt as Marwan ousts local hero in Cartagena
By NATHAN CLARKE
Egyptian brothers Marwan and Mohamed Elshorbagy will go head-to-head in the semi-final of the 2016 Taeq SquashColombia PSA Open in a draw that sees all four spots taken up by Egyptian players in Cartagena.
Marwan came up with a hugely impressive performance to upset local hero and Colombian No.1 Miguel Angel Rodriguez. The 22-year-old went a game down early on after struggling to adapt to the ferocious pace of Rodriguez but responded with a composed game plan as he rose to take the victory with an 5-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-4 scoreline.
“It was my first time playing Miguel today,” said Elshorbagy. “I didn’t know what to expect, he’s done so much for himself. He is having a great career so far and everyone should be proud of what he has achieved here. What he has done is amazing and I wish I could achieve what he has already done and I’m sure he is going to achieve much more than this.
“It’s going to be a great match [against Mohamed] of course. We will both look forward to it and we’ve played so many times already. We will both give it everything and hopefully we will entertain the crowd.”
World No.1 Mohamed secured his semi-final berth after overpowering Tom Richards in straight games.
Bathed in the light from the setting sun over Cartagena’s picturesque Plaza de la Aduana, Elshorbagy produced a superb display full of his trademark hard-hitting style and furious pace to overcome a resilient Richards.
The 25-year-old was at his scintillating best to keep his opponent at arm’s length for the duration of the encounter and he pulled through with an 11-7, 11-8, 11-5 triumph to reach the last four
“I had to change my tactic every point,” said Elshorbagy. “The outside court makes the sport more interesting and it makes it more exciting. I absolutely love outdoor courts because I think that it makes things interesting with regards to how other players are going to deal with it mentally. I’m really happy with how I adapted today.
“Tom had a really good win against Ryan [Cuskelly] in the first round because Ryan has been playing so well. He [Richards] has had injuries and is just making his way back. He’s outside of the top 20 now but I’m sure he will be back inside the top 20, where he deserves to be, very soon.”
Meanwhile, a sublime performance from World No.11 Tarek Momen saw him down Cameron Pilley 3-0 to avenge his defeat against the tall Australian during last month’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.
After taking the first game in relatively comfortable fashion, 27-year-old Momen displayed great dexterity at the front of the court to wipe out leads from Pilley in both games two and three and wrap up the win by an 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 scoreline.
“Last month I played him and I lost 3-0 quite easily,” said Momen.
“I wanted to forget about that match and that performance because he played amazingly well that day.
“I just tried to figure out what went wrong and tried to reestablish myself on court.
“Today, I came up with a plan and I’m very glad it worked because I wasn’t sure if it would in these conditions, but it did work in my favour.”
Omar Mosaad is the other Egyptian representative in the last four after he sealed his spot courtesy of a straight-games win over Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal.
Mosaad took the first two games comfortably but had to withstand a determined battle from Ghosal in the third before squeezing home 12-10. Mosaad will line up against Momen for a place in the showpiece final.
2016 Taeq SquashColombia PSA Open
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-5 (40m)
 Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bt  Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 3-1: 5-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-4 (59m)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt  Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-0: 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 (52m)
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt  Saurav Ghosal (IND) 11-4, 11-5, 12-10 (56m)
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v  Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v  Omar Mosaad (EGY)
Pictures courtesy of PSA