PETALING JAYA: World No. 3 Mohamed El Shorbagy was in full gear as he scored one of his biggest wins ever, over world No. 1 Gregory Gaultier of France in the semi-finals of the El Gouna International Open.
Playing in front of his home crowd, the 23-year-old Egyptian, who has been steadily confirming his status in the top four, defeated Gaultier 11-6, 14-16, 11-9, 12-10 in 112 minutes.
It was a match of gruelling rallies mixed with great shots and mental strength as Mohamed, who has not beaten Gaultier in nine previous meetings, finally emerged triumphant.
“Greg is not the world No. 1 for nothing and this is my first time beating him after losing to him in nine previous meetings,” said Mohamed on www.squashsite.co.uk.
“To do that in Egypt is very special and I couldn’t have done it without the crowd supporting me.
“It was basically two fighters slugging it out because he never gave up and I’m just so happy to have made it in the end.”
Mohamed will go on to face two-time world champion Ramy Ashour, the man he displaced as the Egyptian No. 1.
Ramy, ranked fourth in the world, was once again in his element as he doused the challenge of fifth seed Amr Shabana 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 in 36 minutes.