Shorbagy creates upset in Punj Lloyd squash tourney

Last Updated: Dec 16, 2011, 22:46 PM IST

New Delhi: The final World Series event of the year, Punj Lloyd PSA Masters, saw its first major upset when Egypt`s Mohamed El Shorbagy recorded his career’s first ever win over compatriot Karim Darwish in the quarterfinals on Friday.

With a 0-4 head to head record going into the second quarterfinal of the day, the five-time British Junior Open title winner Shorbagy used every shot in his repertoire to score an emphatic 11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 11-3 win over second seed and world number fifth Darwish in 60 minutes.

Sixth seed and world number eighth Shorbagy will lock horns with France`s Gregory Gaultier in the first semifinal tomorrow. Gregory defeated The Netherlands` Laurens Jan Anjema 11-5, 11-2, 11-5 in 38 minutes in the first last-eight match of the day.

Shorbagy got the better of the first tight game and produced a flurry of delightful winners with deft touch to the front but Darwish, who last defeated the fellow Egyptian 3-1 in the semifinal of last month`s Kuwait PSA Cup, kept the second game open with his unerring ability to dominate the court and finish points with his speed.

Then the 20-year-old Shorbagy pulled away from a 5-all in the third to take the lead and quickly built a 9-0 lead in the fourth, which Darwish never looked like to overhaul.

The match between the top two Egyptian racqueters was full of on-court drama, where Shorbagy needed to be on his guard against the 30-year-old from Giza.

Shorgaby repeatedly called for video reviews to justify his points in question, leading to Darwish once yelling "Oh my god" when a decision went in favour of Shorbagy.

Shorbagy, seemingly encouraged by successful video reviews, took control of the last two games with several exciting rallies to settle the issue in his favour.

"I have a lot of respect for Darwish, he is such an experienced player and I have learnt a lot playing against him. I did not want to say anything wrong about him out of my happiness, it`s a happy feeling," said an elated Shorbagy after the match.

"I stay focused throughout the match and believed in my abilities. Last time, when we played each other, it was a very close game which I narrowly lost. That particular match in Kuwait PSA Cup gave me the confidence that I can beat him. You can say that this win was out of hunger.”

"Today, I forgot that he is an Egyptian and just went on to play my natural attacking game. My successful video reviews also made him frustrated and he lost his way. It`s the first time that I have defeated an Egyptian inside top-10 and I want to carry this form forward," said the Alexandria-born.

On his semifinal clash against world number three and fourth seed Gaultier, Shorbagy said, "He is in top form and I have to dish out something special to beat him."

"I need enough sleep before the crucial match as I have been sleeping at around 6 in the morning and getting up at 2 in the afternoon. Thanks to organisers that they have scheduled the match in the evening hours," added Shorbagy, who has enjoyed a meteoric rise up the world rankings since joining the PSA in 2006 as a 15-year-old.

In the first quarterfinal, Gaultier lived up to his billing and recorded fourth successive victory of his career over Anjema.

The Frenchman foxed the eight-seed Anjema throughout the match and used all four corners of the court to make the Dutch run. On the other hand, Anjema failed to concentrate and gave away the match to Gaultier.

In an all- English quarterfinal, third seed and world ranked second James Willstrop defeated his compatriot seventh seed Daryl Selby 11-7, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5 in 65 minutes.

On his semifinal clash against world number three and fourth seed Gaultier, Shorbagy said, "He is in top form and I have to dish out something special to beat him."

"I need enough sleep before the crucial match as I have been sleeping at around 6 in the morning and getting up at 2 in the afternoon. Thanks to organisers that they have scheduled the match in the evening hours," added Shorbagy, who has enjoyed a meteoric rise up the world rankings since joining the PSA in 2006 as a 15-year-old.

In the first quarterfinal, Gaultier lived up to his billing and recorded fourth successive victory of his career over Anjema. The Frenchman foxed the eight-seed Anjema throughout the match and used all four corners of the court to make the Dutch run.

On the other hand, Anjema failed to concentrate and gave away the match to Gaultier.

PTI