Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy is through to the semi finals of the Oracle NetSuite Open after he got the better of Raphael Kandra in an enthralling match that went all the way.
The pair had met three times before on the PSA World Tour, most recently at the Allam British Open in May, where the Egyptian took the spoils, but they had never faces off in a best-of-three format.
The first game was tight, with neither player wanting to make the vital mistake that would see them lose the opening game. It went to a tie-break, with the ‘Jackal’ taking it 12-10.
Kandra fought back though, and led the second game 9-5. However, the World No.11 won five straight points to give himself match ball, which the German was able to save. He went on to take it by a reverse scoreline of 12-10 to send the match into a decider.
The third game then ebbed and flowed, with both players having leads of at least two points at different stages. ElShorbagy was able to save three match balls from 10-7 down to come back and win the third 13-11 to move into the last four of the tournament.
Marwan will now face older brother Mohamed in the semi-finals, and he is relishing the prospect of facing his sibling for the second time in a month.
“I just fought. I was 10-7 down and I told myself, I only remember everything that I went through last season. This is the only thing that pushes me mentally and it is the only thing that came into my mind,” ElShorbagy admitted after the match.
“I was thinking that I went through so much and if I can handle that, I was sure that I could handle coming back from 10-7. I am proud of the way I handled it but I am not happy with the way I played at all. I could have played a lot better, but great credit to Raph because he played really well.
“I played him [Mohamed ElShorbagy] in Shanghai and lost 3-1 in four games and if I get to play him then it is another opportunity yo play one of the best. My brother is already one of the greats of all time and every time I step on court with him I learn something new.”
Result – Men’s Quarter Final: Oracle NetSuite Open
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Raphael Kandra (GER) 2-1: 12-10, 10-12, 13-11 (45m)