Monday, March 27, 2023

Canary Wharf Classic 2023: Mohamed ElShorbagy beats James Willstrop

In a battle of two former World No.1, Mohamed ElShorbagy overcame 39-year-old James Willstrop in a three-game contest to reach the quarter finals of the GillenMarkets Canary Wharf Classic in London.

The match was one of two between two former World No.1s, with Paul Coll and Karim Abdel Gawad also doing battle on Tuesday evening. The last match of the evening saw ElShorbagy and Willstrop go head-to-head in an enticing clash, one that delighted the home crowd in London.

After a tight first game, which the current World No.3 claimed 12-10, Willstrop then saved a match ball in the second to extend the match into a decider. ElShorbagy was able to eek out the win with an 11-8 scoreline in the third, to move through to the last eight, where he will face another former World No.1, in Ali Farag.

“It was obviously a great match for the crowd,” said ElShorbagy. “I mean, James was James, if you will give him any opening he is so accurate. We played a high quality match. Very good to see him… any of the past champions, and the current champions, of course.

“You know, when they play the way they play, the crowd will always get involved. I want to see them get involved. Like how they used to, a few years ago, obviously he is not playing as much. We haven’t seen him on TV or playing in front of a big venue for a long time. So any squash fan would want to get behind him.”

Farag continued his return from injury with a solid performance to get the better of Malaysian No.1 Eain Yow Ng, winning in straight games to book his spot in the quarter finals.

In the first of two battles featuring a pair of former World No.1s, New Zealand’s Paul Coll got the better of Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad to book his spot in the quarter finals of a tournament he has won twice before.

Second Round Results (Bottom Half): GillenMarkets Canary Wharf Classic
[4] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 2-0: 11-9, 11-9 (39m)
[8] Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 2-0: 11-9, 11-6 (27m)
[5] Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) bt [WC] James Willstrop (ENG) 2-1: 12-10, 12-14, 11-8 (49m)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 2-0: 11-5, 11-9 (22m)

Quarter Final Draw: To Be Played Wednesday, March 15
[1] Mostafa Asal (EGY) v Baptiste Masotti (FRA)
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) v Joel Makin (WAL)
[4] Paul Coll (NZL) v [8] Mazen Hesham (EGY)
[5] Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) v [2] Ali Farag (EGY)

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