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BritOpen Update: Elshorbagy Downs Willstrop to Advance to Quarters


Defending champion Mohamed Elshorbagy produced a scintillating masterclass against former World No.1 James Willstrop to progress to the quarter-final of the 2016 Allam British Open, PSA World Series tournament – meaning that there will be no Englishmen in the quarter-final stage of the iconic tournament for the first time since 1992.

Willstrop, who caused one of the greatest upsets in World Championship history when he defeated Elshorbagy back in November, came into the event as the sole English representative after seeing compatriot and bitter rival Nick Matthew exit the tournament the previous day.

“Since he got back from injury, we didn’t see the James we knew but in the World Championship he took everyone by surprise. I didn’t expect him to play the way he did against me. There are great players and there are world-class players and James, before his injury, was one of those world-class players.

“After he got back from his injury, the first I saw him return to his best was against me in the World Championship. I was really happy to see him playing that well, it’s important for the game to have someone like him to be playing very well. I was focused from the first point today, I thought we played such a high-quality match for a second round match.

“I got in my zone and I’m really happy that he played well so we pushed each other very hard.”

Willstrop, who was the last Englishman left in the Men’s event, said that he is taking the positives from the match.

“I felt the match was good,” he said.

“I’m pleased to play that way. I didn’t set anything on fire in the first two games and could have been better. He played well and he’s been thinking about this match for a long time, since Seattle. He was out to do something different from then.

“We both played a quality game but I’m mostly disappointed with the last phase. I got too excited on the last few points, I felt good and got a little silly. He deserved the first two games and that carried him through.

“I have to keep building on it and hopefully keep upping my level. Obviously I want to win but I have everything I could but it’s all positive for me.

“He mixed it up a lot today. My squash beat his [in the World Championship] and that’s the great tactical challenge of this game. He got it better today.”

Result – Second Round: Men’s Allam British Open 2016
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt James Willstrop (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 11-5 (63m)

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