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ToC Update: Comeback King Matthew Dispatches Elshorbagy in Manhattan

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World No.3 Nick Matthew had to call on all 18 years of his vast experience to recover from a 2-0 deficit and defeat Egypt’s Marwan Elshorbagy in the quarter-final of the 2016 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, keeping alive his hopes of adding to the title he last won in 2012.

An irresistible display from Elshorbagy in the first half of the match looked poised to hand the 22-year-old his first victory over the Englishman but ‘The Wolf’ roared back with a performance that embodied the mental resilience that has personified his career, taking the match 10-12, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6 to move on to the semi-final where he will meet long-term adversary Gregory Gaultier.

Matthew started the match in the ascendancy as Elshorbagy fell behind but the World No.11 found a second wind to resist Matthew’s attempts to wear him down and he duly moved into a one-game lead after taking it on the tie-break.

Some uncharacteristic errors crept into the normally frugal Matthew’s game as Elshorbagy doubled his lead and further frustrations were to come for the Englishman after his opponent benefitted from some no-let decisions at the beginning of the third.

The World No.3 managed to maintain his composure though to claw a game back and followed that up with victory in the fourth to set up a tense fifth game showdown.

Matthew kept Elshorbagy at arm’s length despite the brilliance of the Egyptian’s short game as the match drew to a conclusion and eventually prevailed in five to bring an end to a gladiatorial 81-minute contest.

Result – Quarter-Final: Men’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions 2016
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [8] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) 3-2: 10-12, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6 (81m)

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