Thursday night will witness two big games in the semi-finals of the 2016 El-Gouna International Squash Tournament with Mohamed Elshorbagy playing Miguel Angel Rodriguez before Fares Dessouki faces Gregory Gaultier.
Elshorbagy and Dessouki are the only two Egyptian men who made it to the semifinals of the PSA tournament taking place between 24 and 29 April on the Red Sea after three Egyptians, Omar Mosaad, Marawan Elshorbagy and Ali Farag, waved goodbye to the tournament in the quarterfinals.
The world number one, Elshorbagy, will be clashing with Miguel Angel Rodriguez (6), one day after he eliminated eighth-seeded Simon Rosner of Germany.
El-Shorbagy passes Rosner in the quarter-final, Wednesday 27 April 2016 (Photo: Courtesy of squashsite.co.uk)
“Simon and I played a high quality match and I'm happy with how I played and I'm very happy to be able to play another match here in front of the fantastic crowd," said Elshorbagy.
“Every court and condition is different, we played on a very cold court in Chicago and today it was so tough to volley with the wind. I served out, which I won't be proud of, but I'm glad I came through," he added.
Colombian Rodriguez defeated host Egyptian Omar Mosaad, the world No.4, in the quarterfinals on Wednesday to make it to the semis of the PSA World Series tournament for the fourth time in his career.
Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez hopeful of first ever PSA Series Tournament Semi-Final (Photo: Courtesy of squashsite.co.uk)
“I think the biggest opponent today was the wind – I was trying to get used to it but it was hard to control,” said Rodriguez after defeating Mosaad, adding "My goal for this year is to make the final of a World Series and win one – being in the last four here in Egypt is very special for me, for Colombia and for South American squash."
The weather was a key player in the tournament that was held in the beautiful touristic resort of El-Gouna, 20km north of Hurghada, as heat and humidity dominated for three days before winds took control on the fourth.
“The conditions make it very interesting here and today, the wind was so hard to deal with but I prefer that over the humidity that we had before as you don't sweat as much,” said world No. 1 Elshorbagy.
Dessouki v Gaultier: tough game expected
The Alexandrian-born Dessouki (the world's 21st) will have a tougher mission against final-favorite Frenchman Gregory Gaultier -whose rank is second globally- after he won against Egypt's Ali Farag.
Fares Dessouki defeats fellow Egyptian Marawan El-Shorbagy in the quarter-final, Wednesday 27 April 2016 (Photo: Courtesy of squashsite.co.uk)
Dessouki defeated England's Daryl Selby in the first round before he ousted two fellow Egyptians on his way to the semis- Karim Abdel-Gawad and Marawan Elshorbagy respectively.
“It was a very tough match mentally and physically. Marwan had a massive tournament last week – beating Gregory in an amazing final in Zurich – so I knew it would be a very tough match," Dessouki explained following his Wednesday win.
Marawan Elshorbagy battled the experienced Egyptian Ramy Ashour in the first round but the latter left the court with a knee injury after a superb performance.
Ashour scratches his head as his hamstring force him to retire El-Goune tournament from the first round, Monday 25 April (Photo: Courtesy of squashsite.co.uk)
“Being injured is a very tough place to be – it is not simple,” Ashour was quoted as saying on the PSA World Tour website, adding “When it happens people come up to you and they say they feel bad, they’re sorry you’re injured but then you go home from the court and you’re on your own.
The three-time world champion Ashour has suffered from a left knee problem since he had muscle surgery 13 years ago.
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) 3-1 Simon Rosner (GER): 11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 11-4 (46m)
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 3-1  Omar Mosaad (EGY): 9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 12-10 (80m)
Fares Dessouki (EGY) 3-2 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 10-12, 11-13, 11-3, 14-12, 12-10 (92m)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-2 Ali Farag (EGY): 4-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-4, 11-4 (50m)
 Mohamed Elshorbagy 3-0 bt Chris Simpson (ENG): 11-8, 11-8, 12-10 (43m)
 Simon Rösner (GER) 3-1 [Q] Cesar Salazar (MEX): 11-6, 6-11, 11-2, 11-7 (46m)
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 3-0 Leo Au (HKG): 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 (35m)
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0 Mathieu Castagnet (FRA): 15-13, 11-4, 11-4 (61m)
Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0 [Q] Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY): 11-6, 11-7, 11-5 (33m)
Fares Dessouki (EGY) 3-0  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY): 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 (43m)
Ali Farag (EGY) 3-0  Tarek Momen (EGY): 11-5, 8-4 retired (23m)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-0 Stephen Coppinger (RSA): 11-2, 11-8, 11-6 (39m)
First Round (Bottom Half)
Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0  Ramy Ashour (EGY): 12-10, 11-6, 0-0 retired (20m)
[Q] Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) 3-2 Max Lee (HKG): 2-11, 12-10, 4-11, 16-14, 11-6 (75m)
Fares Dessouki (EGY) 3-2 Daryl Selby (ENG): 8-11, 11-5, 11-3, 5-11, 11-8 (75m)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-1 Ryan Cuskelly (AUS): 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (63m)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-1 [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA): 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6 (65m)
Ali Farag (EGY) 3-0 [Q] Nicolas Mueller (SUI): 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 (23m)
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 3-2 [Q] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT): 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 3-11, 11-3 (61m)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-0 Tom Richards (ENG): 11-6, 11-8, 11-4 (36m)
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