Fares Dessouki (EGY) bt  Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-2: 4-11, 11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8 (81m)
Fares Dessouki recorded his first win on the PSA World Tour since January’s Tournament of Champions, when he beat wildcard Todd Harrity, after coming through a marathon encounter with compatriot Marwan ElShorbagy in a gritty first round encounter at the 2016 Canary Wharf Classic.
The talented youngster has been out of sorts throughout 2016 so far, having looked far from his best in recent events, but showed glimpses of the play that saw him reach the quarter-finals of the British Open and US Open in 2014 as he battled through against the in-form ElShorbagy.
Dessouki started slowly and saw the first game go against him 4-11 before he stepped up the court, playing with improved length and utilising the volley, to take the advantage and seal the next two games.
With both men giving their all and trying to take every advantage open to them the fourth game descended into chaos with the referee being called into action on multiple occasions. Eventually it was Elshorbagy who, fired up by his feeling of injustice against the referees, who levelled up again at 2-2.
The fifth game followed a similar pattern, with the duo trading points back-and-forth while the referees continued to be occupied on a frequent basis, before Dessouki produced two key winners to open up an advantage and take the initiative – which he used to his full advantage.
At 8-8 in the fifth, after a referee decision had granted Dessouki the previous point, the younger Egyptian hit a sweetly struck un-returnable backhand drop to take the lead for the first time in the game – and he didn’t drop another.
Shot of the Match
Dessouki reeled off two back-to-back forehand crosscourt nicks which he smashed into the sweet spot to take the the game and a 2-1 advantage on the scoreboard.
Fares Dessouki: “That was a very tough match.
“I’ve struggled a lot over the last three months and I have lost a lot of first round matches. This is my first win since last year so I am really, really happy.
“We were both a bit nervous, I was nervous in the first game, and then he got nervous in the second – but it was a high quality squash.Marwan is a very good player and he is very smart on court. I had to be focused and play at a high pace.
“I’m really enjoying the court here and my nicks are going well. I think the refereeing went very well.”