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Mohamed ElShorbagy celebrates win over Nick Matthew

2016/17 Season Review: Comebacks of the Season: Part Two

The PSA Dubai World Series Finals last month brought an end to one of the most remarkable and exciting seasons on the PSA World Tour.

Over the past few weeks we have been looking back at the major moments that lit up the PSA World Tour during 2016/17 and have already looked at the outstanding performers, breakthrough stars and shocks of the season.

You can read part one of our comebacks of the season here.

James Willstrop battles back against Simon Rösner

James Willstrop: NetSuite Open 2016

[WC] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [6] Simon Rösner (GER) 3-2: 9-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-2, 12-10 (79m)

Former World No.1 James Willstrop produced a superb comeback to overturn a two-game deficit and eliminate Germany’s Simon Rösner in the quarter-final stage of the NetSuite Open, PSA M100 tournament taking place on San Francisco’s Justin Herman Plaza.

The Englishman looked down and out after Rösner played some of his best squash to open up a two-game lead, leaving him on the cusp of a third straight win over his opponent.

The duo were locked in a fascinating tactical battle from the start, with Rösner’s volleying and driving prowess enabling him to pull away to open up a one-game lead. Game two followed in much the same vein as Rösner held his position on the ‘T’ and fired a series of devastating drives to Willstrop’s backhand.

However, not one to go down without a fight, tournament wildcard Willstrop dug in superbly and used all of his 17 years of experience to battle back.

After losing the opening two game, the Englishman responded by slowing the pace down and lobbing the ball more in a bid to move Rösner out of the middle. The approach worked well and Willstrop was able to claw a game back before restoring parity in the fourth against a now tired-looking Rösner.

A climactic fifth game saw both players go for the win, making for a compelling contest. Willstrop looked to have found a breakthrough after going 9-6 up, however, Rösner battled back to claim a game ball. The next two points went in Willstrop’s favour and he eventually broke Rösner’s resilience to book his place in the semi-finals.

Nicol David celebrates her comeback at the U.S. Open

Nicol David: U.S. Open 2016

[3] Nicol David (MAS) bt [11] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 3-2: 4-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-7 (53m)

Malaysia’s Nicol David battled back from the brink of elimination at the U.S. Open to secure victory against Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb.

Three-time U.S. Open champion David was caught flat footed in the first two games as El Tayeb came out of the blocks and dictated the play to hit winners for fun as David struggled to halt the charge.

However, the tide soon turned in the third game as David began to find her range and use her supreme athleticism to good effect by chasing down everything Tayeb threw at her to change the course of the dynamic encounter.

David continued to enjoy the better of the exchanges in the fourth before a high, quality fifth game followed that saw both players engage in some well-constructed and testing rallies before the Malaysian was able to make a late charge that ultimately secured her place in the last eight of the tournament.

Mohamed ElShorbagy overturns a 2-0 deficit against Nick Matthew

Mohamed ElShorbagy: Qatar Classic

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [4] Nick Matthew (ENG) 3-2: 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-9 (83m)

Defending champion Mohamed ElShorbagy, was forced to muster up his best squash to come back from two games behind against three-time World Champion Nick Matthew.

The then-World No.1 found himself on the receiving end of a Matthew masterclass in the opening two games as the Englishman produced an inspired performance to limit ElShorbagy’s ferocious hitting to great effect and put himself in the driving seat.

However, ElShorbagy refused to resign himself to defeat and overturned a 9-7 deficit in the third game to spark an extraordinary comeback from the Egyptian.

The 26-year-old outplayed Matthew in the fourth to win 11-4 and then ground out a tense win the decider as the duo traded blows until a stroke against Matthew at match ball handed the win to ElShorbagy after a brilliant 83-minute battle. The win also made it the second time in as many months that the Egyptian had overturned a two-game deficit against Matthew, after their U.S. Open final clash the previous month.

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