Egypt’s World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy made a strong statement in New York as he eased past a resilient Joel Makin of Wales in straight-games to reach the semi-finals of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.
Makin has been in the form of his career this season and at this tournament with wins over World No.6 Diego Elias and former World No.1 James Willstrop under his belt, but the Welshman was unable to find an answer against ElShorbagy, with the Egyptian firing on all cylinders under the chandeliers of Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall.
ElShorbagy, who has not dropped a game so far this week, was at his accurate best to take time away from Makin and also cut out any errors to take an 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 victory in 51 minutes.
The two-time ToC champion will face familiar rival Karim Abdel Gawad for a place in the final of the PSA World Tour Platinum event tomorrow.
“Every match I play is a different game plan,” said 29-year-old ElShorbagy.
“Joel, for me, is the most improved player every year. Every match he plays there is something new that he brings to his game and for me he is a top five player. He is one of the most hungry players that I have come across in my career. When I was in my early 20s, the way he trains and goes on in a match reminds me a lot of the way I was.
“We’ve started training a lot together and having a lot of hard practice matches. He’s actually the first training partner I’ve had, beside my brother, in my career. We get on really well and he has had a fantastic tournament. The way he beat Diego [Elias] in that second round match after he lost to him at the U.S. Open was very impressive. To then back it up against James [Willstrop] is not easy, so full credit to him.
“The hunger [to win] grows more every day, the day I lose my hunger then there is no point in playing this event or game. I’m very hungry to try and win titles every time I come back here and hopefully I can try and win my third trophy here.”
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Joel Makin (WAL) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (51m)