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Rodriguez Thwarts Abouleghar In Motor City Thriller

2015 Motor City Open presented by Suburban Collection champion Miguel Angel Rodriguez produced a thrilling comeback to upset the seedings at the 2018 iteration of the PSA M50 event and keep his hopes of securing a second Detroit title alive.

After being completely out-classed by Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar, the Colombian staged a dramatic fight back to join New Zealand’s Paul Coll, Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller and top seeded Marwan ElShorbagy in the last four.

Rodriguez fell 11-2, 11-8 down to World No.9 Abouelghar with the Egyptian showcasing his full repotoire to hit winner after winner and leave Rodriguez searching for an answer.

But, the wheels came off the Egyptian train in the third as a plethora of errors granted Rodriguez a respite, and when he saved three match balls in the fourth courtesy of some unbelievable retrievals, momentum swung in the favour of the former World No.4 and he took a tense fifth 11-7 to complete the win.

“He is a strong shot-maker,” said Rodriguez.

“He’s so talented and I don’t know how to describe it. I just thought to myself that he can’t keep hitting winners. At any time, he’s going to have some unforced errors.

“And with a lot of heart, I did it again. I’m proud to play my best right now. I think I’m finding my game again. I’m happy to play in a semi-final after my 2016 injuries.

“This is a big moment in my career.”

Kiwi Coll ensured his place in the last four with a similarly epic five-game win over Australian Ryan Cuskelly.

After a mammoth 23 minute first game, it was Coll who kept his cool as momentum swung back and forth, with ‘Superman’ eventually taking the match after 89 minutes of punishing play.

“I knew I had him pretty tired, but I was guilty of taking my foot off the pedal in the third,” said Coll.

“I was disappointed, but I was still confident that I could win the match on pure physicality.

“I just needed to stay positive. He cramped the last time we played, so that was in the back of my mind. I just had to keep pushing, and I’m happy I closed it out.”

For his efforts, Coll will take on Mueller in the first semi-final on Saturday afternoon.

World No.27 Mueller was in control as he halted the run of qualifier Campbell Grayson – coming through 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 – while top-seed and ElShorbagy ripped through Leo Au in just 30-minutes.

Results – Quarter-Finals: 2017 Motor City Open
[1] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [7] Leo Au (HKG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5, 11-2 (30m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [3] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-2: 2-11, 8-11, 11-2, 13-11, 11-7 (65m)
[8] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt [Q] Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 (42m)
[2] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [5] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-2: 6-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 11-2 (89m)

Draw – semi-finals
[1] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
[8] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v [2] Paul Coll (NZL)

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