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Marwan ElShorbagy (right) takes on Benjamin Aubert on day two of the Manchester Open

Manchester Open RD1: ElShorbagy Sees Off Tricky Aubert

World No.7 Marwan ElShorbagy got the better of young Frenchman Benjamin Aubert in straight games to book his spot in the Manchester Open last 16.

The pair had never competed against each other on the PSA World Tour and Aubert certainly didn’t look out of place against the World Championship finalist as he showed some deceptive touches and took a number of points from the Egyptian in the opening two games.

But ElShorbagy had enough in his locker to prevail in both and dominated a one-sided fourth game to complete an 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 triumph in 39 minutes.

His reward is a round two meeting with England’s Adrian Waller, who got the better of wildcard Patrick Rooney by a 3-1 margin.

“I was a bit edgy and nervous, it’s my first match after six months, but I’m glad to win in three games,” said ElShorbagy.

“I’m happy with the way I played overall and I think I can get better round by round. I haven’t played Benjamin before but I’ve seen him play in Detroit. He’s had a few good results there, so I knew he would be hungry and he doesn’t really care who he is playing.

“He really wanted to win today and he surprised me a little bit with the way he played, but I was just trying to contain him as much as possible and I’m glad I managed to do that.

“I took two months completely off when I was in Bristol during lockdown, I tried to keep fit after the first couple of months and mentally I just wanted to relax. I got my body going a little bit and I have a great team behind me. Mark [Campbell] was giving me my programme and I was just trying to take it easy on my body a little bit.

“Physically I was trying to get as ready as possible and then I went back to Egypt at the end of July where I started with my squash coach, Haitham [Effat].”

[6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Benjamin Aubert (FRA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 (39m)

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