World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy secured his place in the quarter-finals of the 2016 iteration of the PSA World Series tournament courtesy of a straight-games win over compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar at the University Club of Chicago today.
The duo met at the same stage during las year’s Qatar Classic when Elshorbagy outgunned his younger opponent from the off and while the scoreboard again read 3-0 in favour of the in-form 25-year-old today it was far from plain sailing as Abouelghar, the World No.25, applied himself with determination and skill to trouble Elshorbagy.
The third game was an especially nervous affair for the top seed, who finished as runner-up to Nick Matthew here last year, as he saw five match balls go begging curtesy of some tenacious work from Abouelghar before he finally broke the resistance courtesy of some relentless attacking power play.
“I’ve known Mohamed since he was a little kid – he came through the juniors at the same time as my brother so I have seen him play a lot,” said Elshorbagy.
“He’s a good player and we are good friends off the court as well. Today was only the second time we have played on tour but I’m sure there will be plenty more matches to come in the future. For now I’m happy that I was able to beat him in three.
“He’s small but very strong and I was surprised with how well he kept up with my pace – the longer the match went the better he was playing. I was lucky to get those last few points in the third and that was crucial.”
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 18-16 (44m)