Egyptian Hisham Ashour (world number 16) sparked the first surprise of El-Gouna International Squash World Open when he beat Amr Shabana (world number 6) to reach the quarter finals on Tuesday.
Ashour, the older brother of former world number one Ramy Ashour, produced the performance of his life, beating the 32-year-old four-time world champion in a contested tie 3-1 (13/11, 9/11, 11/9 and 11/8).
"Do you know how many years I’ve been trying to win against him, and never succeeded? It’s been probably, what, eight or nine years? And getting close sometimes, but because of his experience, and craft, and immense talent, not succeeding," Ashour told the tournament's official website.
“Today, I beat four people. One, the legend. Two, the four-time world champion. Three, the big brother. Four, the fair player, who is so respectful on court.
“His attitude was amazing on court, as it always is. When you do a great shot, even at crucial times, and he comes to you with that little tap on the shoulder, saying 'well done,' 'great shot.' And that’s a man that has never cheated in his life, who never ever took a double bounce in his life.
“Because when you take a double bounce, you are actually stealing. You are a thief. And I don’t believe in this on-court dirty, off-court nice man. If you take a double bounce, and then you don’t come and congratulate your opponent when he plays a great shot, you cannot be a nice person off-court.
“And Shabana is such an example for us all. When you stop your career, when it’s all finished, that’s what people remember of you. What you won. And the way you did it. He won everything, and with an amazing spirit,” he concluded.
Mohamed El-Shorbay saw off Frenchman Thierry Lincou 3-2 (5/11, 11/8, 11/8, 8/11, 11/8) in a marathon of 75 minutes while Ramy Ashour ousted Adrian Grant 3-1 (11/4, 9/11, 11/5, 11/1).
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