Egypt’s World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy convincingly booked his place in the quarter finals of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions after downing France’s World No.14 Gregoire Marche.
The Frenchman has had a torrid week with him being hospitalised twice this week due to illness and faced a gruelling five-game battle with Egypt’s Zahed Salem in the last round.
However, Marche was up against a different beast today in the form of two-time tournament champion ElShorbagy as he struggled to keep up with the pace and accuracy the Bristol-based Egytpian was setting in the first game as he took an 11-1 lead.
The second game proved to be in stark contrast as Marche seemed to be firing on adrenaline and threw himself around the court but was unable to draw level with ElShorbagy edging it, 11-9.
He's in the wars out there, but
GregMarche</a> is still displaying some incredible retrieval skills at Grand Central Terminal! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToCSquash?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToCSquash</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToC20?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToC20</a> <a href="https://t.co/cDQC9f5S82">pic.twitter.com/cDQC9f5S82</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) January 14, 2020
The third proved to be similar with Marche once again running the Egyptian close before ElShorbagy sealed an 11-1, 11-9, 11-9 victory to set up a quarter final showdown with either Welshman Joel Makin or England’s James Willstrop.
“After that first game, me and Rodney [Martin] spoke and said it was going to be about mental focus for the rest of the match,” said ElShorbagy, who celebrated his 29th birthday yesterday.
“I definitely didn’t want the rest of the match to be like the first game, you don’t want to go to the next round having all the games easy like that, you want to be tested and Greg tested me a lot in the second and third. There were a lot of dynamic movements here and there, but I’m glad that I played the bigger points better and happy to be in the quarters.
“Any of the top guys are coming here to try and win this title, I’m just one of them who are trying to have a shot at it. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m going to give it my best here every day and see what happens.
“I love coming back here every year, I’ve played some great matches in front of the crowd here over the years. I will try to give my best here because that’s what this crowd deserves.”
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-0: 11-1, 11-9, 11-9 (37m)