Darwish, Shorbagy enter quarters of Punj Lloyd PSA Masters
New Delhi: Top seeds Karim Darwish and Mohamed El Shorbagy justified their billings as they moved into the quarterfinals of the USD 1,65,000 Punj Lloyd PSA Masters at the Siri Fort Sports Complex on Wednesday.
Second seed and world number five Darwish of Egypt defeated England`s Tom Richards 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 in straight games, while another Egyptian, sixth seed Shorbagy survived some anxious moments before getting past Spain`s Borja Golan 11-6, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7 in the pre-quarterfinals on the third day of the final PSA World Series event of the year.
In other pre-quarterfinals of the day, fourth seed and world number three France`s Gregory Gaultier won a hard-fought battle against Malaysia`s Mohd Azlan Iskander 11-7, 11-6, 11-8.
Eighth seed Laurens Jan Anjema of The Netherlands prevailed over Egypt`s Omar Mossad 11-4, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5.
In the quarters to be played on Friday, Darwish will take on his countrymate Shorbagy, while Gaultier will lock horns against Anjema.
The remaining last-16 matches of the bottom half of the draw will be played tomorrow that include India`s ace racqueter Saurav Ghosal, top seed Egypt`s Ramy Ashour, and the English duo of third seed James Willstrop and fifth seed Peter Barker.
In the first pre-quarters, Shorbagy was pushed to the wall by Golan but the Egyptian maintained his calm throughout the match to emerge victorious in nearly an hour contest.
After losing the first two games, the Spaniard made a strong comeback in the third to make the scoreline read 1-2.
The 20-year-old Shorbagy got his act together quickly and dominated with tight volleys to book his place in the quarterfinals of the event.
"I am very keen to cross the last eight this time. I lost to Shabana last two years. It will be tough against Darwish too but I am up for the challenge," said Shorbagy.
In the duel between Darwish and Richards, the former world number one Egyptian showed his class in all departments of the game, especially in the front court and did not commit any error.
Englishman Richards, on the other hand, could not match his opponent and was reduced to a mere spectator.
"I am happy to win the match. The next one against Shorbagy will be a tough one. He is hungry to win against the top five players. I have been watching him play ever since he was a kid. I recently beat him in Kuwait and I expect him to come hard at me this time," said Darwish.
In the third match, Gaultier easily outplayed 10th seed Iskandar in 39 minutes. The Frenchman played his natural game to perfection and did not allow his opponent to play freely.
On the other hand, Iskandar made lots of unforced errors.
In the fourth match, Anjema brought all his experience to the arena to stave off the challenge from unseeded Mosaad.