England’s world number two Nick Matthew bounced back from a shock defeat in the opening pool round of the ATCO PSA World Series Finals to beat rising Egyptian star Mohamed El Shorbagy in tonight’s second pool round – and keep alive his hopes of making the semi-finals of the flagship PSA World Tour championship at The Queen’s Club in London.
In a match littered with unforced errors from his opponent, Matthew stormed to an 11-5, 11-6 victory over the 21-year-old from Alexandria who celebrated a career-high world No5 ranking this month.
“I had to make sure I didn’t get too down after last night’s defeat – and now have to make sure I don’t allow myself to get too upbeat after tonight’s win, as I have to win tomorrow’s match to have a chance of qualifying,” said the 32-year-old from Sheffield (pictured in action with El Shorbagy).
“Back in contention after a 2-0 win tonight,” tweeted Matthew later. “Better length & faster start but Mo generous with his errors!”
Gaultier, who provided an extrovert presence on court in his win over Willstrop, is now assured of his place in the semi-finals. “I played better than yesterday,” said the 30-year-old from Aix-en-Provence. “I enjoyed playing against James. He doesn’t open the court up much so you have to work really hard.”
Willstrop said afterwards that he drew consolation from the quality of his performance, despite a defeat that leaves him needing to win in Friday’s meeting with Germany’s Simon Rosner. “I think it was a high standard,” said Willstrop. “I played well for long periods of that match and didn’t come out with anything to show for it.”
Rosner, a late replacement for injured world champion Ramy Ashour, became the first German ever to win a match in the World Series Finals when he upset Egypt’s former world number one Karim Darwish 11-4, 11-8.
“It’s awesome,” said Rosner when asked to comment on the exuberant crowd support he attracted. “I didn’t expect to be here, but my last-minute preparation went well. I’m really playing my best squash here.
“To win a match here on this great court is amazing. I’m very happy,” said the world No16 from Paderborn.
2nd pool round:
5 Amr Shabana (EGY) bt  Peter Barker (ENG) 11-8, 11-6 (28m)
2 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt  Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) 11-5, 11-6 (28m)
3 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt  James Willstrop (ENG) 11-6, 13-11 (46m)
8 Simon Rosner (GER) bt  Karim Darwish (EGY) 11-4, 11-8 (31m)