Elshorbagy eliminates champion Shabana in TOC semi!

"When you play against Amr you have to accept that he will make you look like an idiot on court at times. You can never look good when you play him because he is the most talented player on tour”, said Elshorbagy (pic: Steve Line)

Egypt’s world No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy ended hopes of Amr Shabana retaining his J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions title with an impressive 3:2 victory over his 35-year-old fellow countryman. It was one of the most impressive matches ever seen at Grand Central Terminal in the competition’s 18-year association with the iconic New York venue.

Shabana was in sublime form throughout the contest, finding his range from the opening exchanges and pulling out all of his trademark winners to dazzle the capacity audience and give Elshorbagy, 11 years his junior, all sorts of trouble. But the younger man showed just why he is number one with a defying display of retrieving as he dug deep to complete a remarkable victory 9-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9, 11-7.

Elshorbagy twice went behind to the four-time World Champion but used all of his pace and six-foot-plus reach to keep himself in some of the most punishing rallies seen so far during the tournament and it paid dividends for him when, after levelling the match at two-all, he took the sting from the left-hander’s relentless attacking play and managed to find just enough in his locker to book his place in the final to face 2012 champion Nick Matthew.

Englishman Matthew ensured he remains in contention to claim a 2nd title in New York with a dominant straight games win (11-7, 11-9, 11-5) over Colombian diving king Miguel Angel Rodriguez – who had stunned world No.6 Peter Barker and world No.2 Gregory Gaultier to reach the event’s semi-finals for the first time.

“It was good fun out there tonight against Miguel,” said Matthew. While Matthew is celebrating the 63rd PSA World Tour final of his career, Elshorbagy is marking his 24th – but his sixth in the past five months! The final will be the duo’s 11th meeting since 2008, with the Englishman boasting a 6/4 advantage. But the Egyptian was the winner in their most recent encounter in November’s World Championship semi-finals.

[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v [3] Nick Matthew (ENG)

[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [4] Amr Shabana (EGY) 9-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9, 11-7 (88m)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 11-7, 11-9, 11-5 (51m)

[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [6] Borja Golan (ESP) 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 (52m)
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [7] Tarek Momen (EGY) 11-6, 17-19, 11-8, 11-9 (85m)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [8] Simon Rösner (GER) 10-12, 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 (66m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 11-13, 14-12, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9 (88m)

2nd round:
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 11-3, 5-11, 15-13, 11-6 (62m)
[6] Borja Golan (ESP) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) w/o
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 12-10 (55m)
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9 (60m)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 7-11, 15-13, 11-6, 13-11 (94m)
[8] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 11-13, 11-5, 11-5, 11-6 (75m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [5] Peter Barker (ENG) 11-6, 8-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-7 (120m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Tom Richards (ENG) 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 (43m)

1st round:
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [WC] Todd Harrity (USA) 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 (37m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt [Q] Campbell Grayson (NZL) 9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-9 (59m)
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [Q] Cesar Salazar (MEX) 11-5, 8-11, 10-12, 13-11, 11-6 (99m)
[6] Borja Golan (ESP) bt [Q] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) 12-14, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 (76m)
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-5, 11-7, 14-12 (42m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO) 11-7, 11-5, 12-10 (49m)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 12-10, 11-13, 11-8, 12-10 (79m)
[4] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt Olli Tuominen (FIN) 11-7, 11-4, 11-3 (31m)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 12-10, 11-3, 7-11, 11-6 (70m)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [Q] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 11-3, 8-11, 11-3, 11-4 (66m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [Q] Diego Elias (PER) 11-3, 11-7, 3-11, 11-5 (68m)
[8] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 10-12, 11-4, 11-7, 12-10 (87m)
[5] Peter Barker (ENG) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 (47m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [Q] Joe Lee (ENG) 12-10, 11-4, 11-7 (51m)
[Q] Tom Richards (ENG) bt Alister Walker (BOT) 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (37m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Max Lee (HKG) 11-1, 11-7, 11-2 (44m)