World No.7 Simon Rösner had to show guts and determination to come back from a two-game deficit against Egypt’s Mohamed Abouelghar to book his spot in the third round of the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family.
World No.9 Abouelghar has had a mixed season since reaching the title decider of the PSA World Tour Finals back in June, but appeared to be heading towards his first win over a top 10 player this campaign after showcasing his attacking flair to take the first two games by 11-8 margins.
He dragged Rösner into all four corners during some brutal rallies, but rather than fade away physically, the German grew into the match as he slowed the pace down and found his accuracy to draw level.
With the scores poised delicately, Rösner stepped things up in the fifth and was immaculate to go six match balls ahead. Abouelghar whittled away four of them, but was controversially denied a let after some interference in the back of the court.
The Egyptian didn’t have a review remaining, meaning he couldn’t contest the referee’s decision as Rösner moved into the last 16 courtesy of an 8-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 victory in 73 minutes.
He will face either England’s Adrian Waller or Egypt’s Zahed Salem for a place in the quarter-finals.
“I’m not a huge fan of the [draw] system to be honest,” Rösner said.
“It’s tough if you’ve got the No.9 against the No.7 seed playing in the first or second round. I guess we all have those draws and we just have to fight through. After being 2-0 down I didn’t think that I was able to come back, but then I had a good talk with Olli [Petke] my coach outside and he brought me back onto the winning track, which was very good today.
“When you’re 2-0 down you can struggle with the head a little bit. It’s good to have him in the corner to give me that push. I was glad I had him in the corner to talk to between the games.
“I need to get some good rest, we’re all not getting any younger and we have to take care of the body more and more. I’ll have a good hit tomorrow, not too hard, just to stay in the rhythm and then I’ll come back on Sunday.”
 Simon Rösner (GER) bt Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-2: 8-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 (73m)