There will be a brand new name on the Motor City Open trophy after former champions Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez and Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy crashed out at the quarter final stage.
Unseeded Mohamed ElSherbini caused the shock of the day after he downed 2018 British Open champion Miguel Rodriguez in straight-games to book his place in the semi-finals of the PSA World Tour Silver event.
The World No.43 was in dominant form as he comfortably swept aside 2015 Motor City Open champion Rodriguez by an 11-3, 11-4, 11-8 scoreline. The Egyptian will take on Hong Kong’s Leo Au after he axed No.2 seed Marwan ElShorbagy.
2018 champion ElShorbagy fell to Hong Kong’s No.7 seed Leo Au in a brutal 86-minute encounter with the player from Hong Kong coming out on top by an 8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 7-11, 13-11 margin to claim one of the biggest wins of his career.
“I think because I don’t have pressure because he’s the higher seed – I just relaxed and played,” Au said. “At the end it was 50/50. It was very close.
“I’m really happy for my result. Now I have to get myself prepared, recover well, and stay focused.”
The other semi-final will see France’s Benjamin Aubert take on top seed Peru’s Diego Elias for a place in the final.
There was little drama for World No.7 Elias as he easily downed No.8 seed Cesar Salazar of Mexico, 11-8, 11-2, 11-3 in 29 minutes.
“We’ve played so many times and I know he’s always a tough player, he had a tough match [on Thursday],” said Elias, who is being coached this week by his father, Jose, and two-time MCO champion Jonathon Power. “I just wanted to play smart and with a lot of pace, and I think it worked.”
There was high drama elsewhere on the Birmingham Athletic Club courts as Benjamin Aubert of France and Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi of Qatar battled for five games and 100 minutes.
Benjamin Aubert in action against Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi
Aubert won the first two sets 13-11 and 11-5 and fought off a game ball in the third in dramatic fashion – the Frenchman going behind the back to keep a ball alive while Al Tamimi pulled a full-out dive in a point that Aubert eventually won. Al Tamimi would take the game 14-12, then the next, 15-13, in another nail-biter.
Al Tamimi suffered an ankle injury in the fifth game. After play resumed, Aubert took control – finishing off his opponent 11-3 and falling to the ground in jubilation.
“I am very happy,” said Aubert, “I felt bad for him (after the injury).
“It was a very tough match. I’m shaking. We’re both athletic players, so I had to make him work harder physically. In the front, he was so talented, it worked at the end because I was more focused and more fresh physically.
“You never know, on the court it’s one man against one man. Everything can happen.”
Results: Motor City Open Quarter Finals
 Diego Elias (PER) bt  Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-0: 11-8, 11-2, 11-3 (29m)
Benjamin Aubert (FRA) bt Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 3-2: 13-11, 11-5, 12-14, 13-15, 11-3 (100m)
Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) bt  Miguel Rodriguez (COL) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-8 (28m)
 Leo Au (HKG) bt  Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-2: 8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 7-11, 13-11 (86m)
Draw: Motor City Open Semi-Finals – To be played February 8
 Diego Elias (PER) v Benjamin Aubert (FRA)
Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) v  Leo Au (HKG)