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Mohamed ElShorbagy begins his title assault in Zurich today

Grasshopper Cup: Day Two - As It Happens

The Grasshopper Cup continues today in Zurich as play moves over to Halle 622 for the remainder of the tournament – and squash fans can watch all the action LIVE on SQUASHTV, Eurosport Player and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour.

'Colombian Cannonball' Miguel Rodriguez and Egypt's Zahed Salem get play under way at 17:00 (GMT+1) before former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad and Hong Kong's Max Lee take to the court an hour later.

Top seed and 2018 runner-up Mohamed ElShorbagy begins his tournament against Spain's Borja Golan at 20:00, while No.4 seed Simon Rösner takes on English veteran Daryl Selby in the last match of the evening at 21:00.

Join us here for reports and reaction, or watch live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) or the PSA World Tour Facebook page (excluding Europe & Japan).

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Here’s the Order of Play
(All times are local GMT+1)

Colombia’s Rodriguez Reaches Grasshopper Cup Quarter-Finals

Miguel Rodriguez

Colombia’s World No.6 Miguel Rodriguez fought back from four match balls down to overcome Egypt’s Zahed Salem in an enthralling 102-minute spectacle in Zurich’s Halle 622.

The 33-year-old looked set for a second round exit after a superb display of attacking squash saw Salem take a 2-1 lead. The World No.14 varied his angles well and kept up a rapid pace of hitting to unsettle Rodriguez, and he pulled ahead to 10-7 in the fourth.

Rodriguez stayed strong mentally though to force a tie-break though, at which point the previous flee-flowing squash gave way to a scrappy period of play as a number of refereeing decisions and video reviews interrupted the momentum.

Rodriguez kept his head and overturned another match ball to force a fifth game, where he marched into an 11-5 win as Zahed faltered physically, and he will play either top seed Mohamed ElShorbagy or Spain's Borja Golan in the quarter-finals.

“I knew it was going to be very tough, Zahed has been playing very well and I’ve been struggling a bit,” said Rodriguez afterwards.

“It’s always difficult coming to play the first match coming from Colombia, but there are no excuses, we fought until the end and I’m pretty happy with the way I fought back in the third game when I was down by those match balls.

“I was just focusing on playing and giving everything, and fortunately I won that fourth game and had the confidence to play in the fifth.”

[6] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt Zahed Salem (EGY) 3-2: 8-11, 11-6, 9-11, 14-12, 11-5 (102m)

Gawad Edges Lee in Five-Game Battle

Karim Abdel Gawad

World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad edged Hong Kong’s Max Lee in the second match of the day as the Egyptian twice came back from a game down to ultimately advance to the quarter-finals.

Both wins had claimed two wins apiece across their four previous matches on the PSA Tour, but they were competing against each other for the first time since 2016. Three of those matches had gone all the way to five games, and it was no different today at Halle 622.

It was Lee who settled the quicker of the two as he prevailed in a high-quality opening game. The momentum of the match shifted second though as Lee lost his rhythm, and Gawad took full advantage to draw level.

Lee was back on his game in the third as he played some clever angles and showed some intelligent courtcraft to outmanoeuvre the former World No.1, restoring his one-game cushion in the process.

That left Gawad staring down the barrel of a second successive upset after a shock defeat to compatriot Youssef Soliman during last month’s PSA World Championships in Chicago. The 27-year-old kept his composure though to take the fourth for the loss of four points.

Gawad has a reputation as a five-game specialist, and he came though at the crucial moments to book his place in the next round.

“Playing Max is always very tough,” said Gawad.

“Most of the time it’s a five setter and, for me, he is one of the best movers on court. It was very tough today, especially when you’re not playing your best squash and you’re being passive with your winners.

“Mentally, I had to push as much as I could to be able to win this match. It’s our first match on this court, Max played yesterday [at Squash Arena Uster] and I didn’t, but it seems that it was good for him because he had a chance to move as well as he did today.

“I wasn’t moving that well today, so hopefully I can play much better than I did today.”

[5] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Max Lee (HKG) 3-2: 10-12, 11-6, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7 (71m)

ElShorbagy in Control to Brush Aside Golan

Mohamed ElShorbagy (left) v Borja Golan (right)

Top seed Mohamed ElShorbagy got his title assault under way with a dominant 3-0 victory over Spain’s Borja Golan.

ElShorbagy reached the final of this tournament last year – ultimately losing to compatriot Ramy Ashour in the final – and the World No.2 looked like he had a point to prove tonight as he controlled proceedings at Halle 622.

He had beaten Golan narrowly just two weeks ago at the Citigold Canary Wharf Classic, with that match played using a best-of-three games scoring format.

The traditional best of five format is being used in Zurich though, and ElShorbagy powered to an 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 victory in 36 minutes to set up a quarter-final fixture with Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez.

“Borja's a great player, he has so much experience on tour and I played him at Canary Wharf in best of three,” said ElShorbagy.

“I just won by a few points, but this one was best of five, so it was a different dynamic, and a different mentality in the way you approach the game. The tactics are different, but that doesn’t take away from what he did [in Canary Wharf]. I had to very focused and had to get my tactics right from the first point.

“We’re at the last phase of the season now, and every player wants to finish the season on a high, it’s been an up-and-down season for me.

“I think this is the only tournament on the calendar that I haven’t won yet. Last year, I was one match away, but Ramy was on his best form, and no-one can match him when he’s on that form.

“This year, I’m going to try to go one more match, but I have to win three more matches to win this title and each match is like a final. A lot of players are playing great squash at the moment, and I am just trying to stay alive in this tournament as much as I can.”

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 (36m)

Rösner Advances to Quarters After Beating Selby

Simon Rösner (left) v Daryl Selby (right)

Germany’s Simon Rösner earned his spot in the last eight as he got the better of English veteran Daryl Selby in straight games to record his sixth successive win over the World No.21.

Rösner lost his first eight fixtures against Selby but has dominated the pair’s recent meeting, although he required five games to beat the 36-year-old in October’s U.S. Open.

He got the win in three games today though despite some trademark shot-making from Selby and his 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 triumph will see him play World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad in the quarter-finals.

“We’ve played a few times now and it’s always tough, even though he played a five setter yesterday,” said Rösner.

“It’s very tough to beat this guy and wear him down, so I’m glad to get through in three. I’m going to try to figure out a tactic [for the next match], I lost 3-0 to him [Gawad] in New York, so I’m trying to get revenge for that match and I’ll see how it goes.”

[4] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 (41m)

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