France’s World No.17 Gregoire Marche secured his place in the last 16 of the Qatar Classic after he overcame Egypt’s World No.32 Mohamed ElSherbini, 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 in Doha.
The last time the two players faced each other on Tour, it was ElSherbini who walked away with a 3-0 victory earlier this year at the Motor City Open. However, a clinical performance from Marche on the cold glass court at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex saw him able to advance at the PSA Platinum event.
ElSherbini started well in each game but was not able to sustain the pressure, with the Frenchman able to break away each time to stay marginally ahead and take a 2-0 lead. Complaints of an injury to his right leg seemed to affect ElSherbini’s focus in the third and Marche was able to comfortably wrap up the victory in 42 minutes with his accurate shot making.
Next up for Marche will either be New Zealand’s World No.5 Paul Coll or compatriot Baptiste Masotti, depening on the outcome of their match later today.
“I’m quite pleased with the whole performance today,” said Marche afterwards.
“I managed to be focused at the crucial times, like in the middle of every game where it was 4-4, 5-5 and I pushed a little bit more. I wasn’t sure about how I was going to react today physically because I haven’t played for the last five days. I couldn’t do a practice game or anything, so I was a bit scared about my body and how it would react. I feel good, I’m fresh and ready to compete here.
“Since the lockdown in March, we had two months lockdown in France, so I decided to take a big break. I was a bit tired last year and for me, it was the right time to take a proper break. I think I hadn’t played for four months and I was a little scared to come back and how I was going to feel. I trained hard all summer physically and I think it’s paid off now.”
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (42m)