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Mohamed ElShorbagy is in action on day four

World Champs - Day Four: As it Happens

Follow us here for reports and reaction as the third round stage of the illustrious 2016 Wadi Degla PSA Men's World Championshpp – biggest tournament on the PSA World Tour – begins in Cairo.

World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy continues his title charge against fellow Egyptian Karim Ali Fathi, while three-time winner Nick Matthew takes on Simon Rösner in a repeat of their brutal clash at the U.S. Open three weeks ago – with Rösner yet to win against the Englishman in nine attempts.

Elsewhere, World No.6 Ali Farag takes on 'Colombian Cannonball' Miguel Angel Rodriguez in a mouthwatering encounter, while World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad's match against Hong Kong's Max Lee promises to be a top-class fixture.

You can watch the action LIVE on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player.

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Here's the Order of Play
(All times are local GMT+2)
18:00 [6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [16] Max Lee (HKG)
19:00 [12] Simon Rösner (GER) v [4] Nick Matthew (ENG)
20:00 [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)
21:00 [10] Ali Farag (EGY) v [8] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)

Gawad Axes Lee to Reach Last Eight

Egyptian World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad overturned a one-game deficit to dispatch Hong Kong’s Max Lee, securing his place in the quarter-final stage of the PSA Men’s World Championship held at the Wadi Degla Club in Cairo.

The 25-year-old had to come through two brutal five-game battles against England’s Nathan Lake and compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar to reach round three – spending almost an hour on court longer than Lee – and those exertions seemed to have sapped the energy of the man from Alexandria as a leggy display from Gawad saw him let a 5-2 lead slip to go a game behind.

But Lee’s performance dipped in the second game as Gawad began to exert more pressure on his opponent by controlling the middle of the court, and the Egyptian levelled before building on a 7-0 lead in the third to earn a 2-1 lead.


Gawad’s onslaught continued in the fourth and final game against an increasingly tired Lee to send him through to a first ever quarter-final appearance at the iconic tournament with a 7-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-6 victory,

“I had a pretty good start to the first game, I was up 5-2 and suddenly he got 8 points in a row,” said Gawad, who will meet either Nick Matthew or Simon Rösner in the next round.

“When I went off the court I didn't think I did anything wrong, I didn't think there was a major difference in my game. [Amr] Shabana and Mohamed Abbas told me to keep the momentum, to keep focus and mix the pace a little bit.

“It's very hard to play with Max Lee when he controls the middle. He's very, very tough to beat, so the main tactic for today was trying to control the middle as much as I could and try to make him run a little bit more.

“This is my first quarter-final [in a World Championship]. Even in the juniors, my best result was the round of 16. It's nice to be in the quarters and play in front of your home audience.

“It's a great thing and I just hope to keep this up, win the next round and the semi-final.”

Result:
[6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [16] Max Lee (HKG) 3-1: 7-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-6 (49m)

Matthew Sees off Rösner Threat to Seal Quarter-Final Berth

Three-time World Champion Nick Matthew sealed his place in the quarter-final stage for an incredible 10th successive year after recovering from a slow start to defeat German No.1 Simon Rösner.

The duo met just two weeks ago at the U.S. Open, with Matthew coming back from 2-1 down to take a ninth straight win against the World No.12, but it was Rösner who seized the initiative with a superb display in the opening game to take the lead.

Matthew stepped up the court at the beginning of the second and ramped up the pace to storm 7-1 ahead, only to see a resurgent Rösner dig in and vary the height to reel the Englishman back in, eventually levelling at 8-8.

The Wolf’s famed mental resilience came to the fore though as he refused to bow down to the pressure and he held out to level, before continuing to hold the ’T’ in the third to open up a lead for the first time.


Game four was a highly-contested affair which saw Matthew hold a two-point cushion for much of it. An error from Rösner allowed the World No.5 to build up three match balls, but a resilient display from the German saw him haul Matthew back once more to set up a nail-biting tie-break.

It was the 36-year-old Yorkshireman who took the next point though and another error from Rösner – a tinned drop – saw Matthew take the win on his fourth match ball.

“I was gearing up for a worst cast scenario and going 2-0 down, but I still believe I could have done it if I was 2-0 down,” said Matthew.

“I obviously didn't want to go 2-0 down, that second game was crucial and maybe a turning point. I certainly felt more in control after that second game, it settled me down a bit. I felt a little bit flat for some reason when I first came on tonight and I have to work out why that is.

“It was a little bit cooler tonight, the atmosphere wasn't quite the same and the conditions were much harder tonight. It was windy, there was a little bit of humidity, the walls were getting a bit wet, the ball wasn't quite coming onto the racket the way you wanted, so both of us made a few inconsistent errors that we normally wouldn’t.

“I get the feeling that our match at the U.S. Open was maybe better quality squash all round, but at the World Championships you have to dig those results out and I think I will benefit a lot from this match tonight in terms of getting me back match-fit for the next round.”

Result:
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [12] Simon Rösner (GER) 3-1: 6-11, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10 (65m)

Devastating ElShorbagy Scythes Through Fathi

World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy sealed his place in the quarter-finals after dispatching compatriot Karim Ali Fathi in straight games in a dominant display from the Bristol-based Egyptian.

ElShorbagy, who crashed out at the third round stage to James Willstrop last year in one of the tournament’s biggest ever upsets, looked in fine fettle after dispatching both Australia’s Rex Hedrick and Finland’s Olli Tuominen 3-0 in the opening two rounds and he continued his fine form against Fathi to keep up his 100 per cent record thus far.

The 25-year-old dropped just three points in a one-sided opener, hitting all four corners of the court with regularity against a beleaguered Fathi and he doubled his advantage in the second as he stayed in front of his opponent and dictated the tempo of the clash.

Fathi came out with renewed spirit in the third and pushed ElShorbagy hard but, at 9-9, hit a loose shot and then a tin to hand the game to ElShorbagy, meaning the older Egyptian will take on either compatriot Ali Farag or Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez in the next round.

“I've watched Karim all my life, he's in my brother's age group and I've always admired his fighting spirit on court,” said ElShorbagy.

“He has the most fighting spirit out of that generation actually, and it was inspiring. I like to see that on court. He had politics happen to him in the junior days, he didn't get picked up for the World Juniors when he deserved to and it took away his confidence, which was a shame.

“But I'm glad to see him playing well again, he's coming back again and he's a nice guy and a nice player, so I want to congratulate him. I felt like I am much more experienced on this stage than him and I used that to my advantage, especially on the first two games. It's a huge stage to play in the World Championship third round and I'm a lot more used to it than he is.

“I’m feeling good, I'm feeling happy and I'm just enjoying my squash. I had some tough times at the beginning of the season, but I'm back to where I was again on court.”

Result:
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-9 (36m)

Farag Foils Rodriguez to Become Third Egyptian Winner on Day Four

Farag recovered though to edge out a nervy third game and he kept Rodriguez at bay in the fourth to wrap up an 11-4, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7 triumph – setting up a quarter-final clash with World No.1 ElShorbagy in the process.

“In the first game I think I started very well, I listened to what [Amr] Shabana had to say, he said to keep it as tight as possible because when you give him any angles he is so good,” said Farag.

“But at the same time, I couldn’t play in a specific rhythm because he is so good when he gets in a rhythm. I tried to mix it up, hold a bit, then play fast and lift it up a bit. Then, in the second, it surprised me because he did that better than I did.

“He mixed up the pace quite well, it took me by surprise, and he won the second game so all credit to him.”

Farag defeated ElShorbagy the last time the pair met in Cairo – at the Al Ahram Open two months ago – and he is looking forward to locking horns with his compatriot once again.

“It’s quite exciting, I love playing with Mohamed because every time we have played so far it’s been a tough battle and he always gives it 100 per cent.

“I’m going to give it 100 per cent as well and hopefully we’ll give a good one to the crowd.” 

Result:
[10] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [8] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 3-1: 11-4, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7 (56m)

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