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Reigning World Champion Mohamed ElShorbagy

PSA World Champs - Day Three: As It Happens

Round three of the 2018-2019 PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family begins today, with all of the action now taking place at Chicago's Union Station.

Action begins at 12:00 local time (UTC-6) when England's former World Champion Laura Massaro takes on Hong Kong's Annie Au. They will be followed by England's former World No.1 James Willstrop and 2018 British Open winner Miguel Rodriguez.

Reigning World Champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Raneem El Welily will also be in action today, when they face Hong Kong's Leo Au and England's Alison Waters, respectively.

Matches from the glass court inside Union Station will be live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and Facebook (excluding Europe and Japan).

Can’t watch the action? You can also follow the live scores from Union Station.


Au Causes Upset to Take Out Massaro

Hong Kong’s Annie Au caused an upset in round three as she condemned 2013 World Champion Laura Massaro to an early exit at Chicago’s Union Station and made history in the process as the first player from Hong Kong to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament.

The two players had met 13 times on the PSA Tour previously, with Massaro taking nine of those victories, including the last four. However, Au came out firing to reverse her fortunes against the Englishwoman and secure her place in the quarter-finals at the PSA World Championships for the first time in her career.

The Hong Kong player started strongly and utilised her game plan to full effect to trouble former World No.1 Massaro. Au held six game balls in the first game, before Massaro – who is known for her tough mental resilience – fought back, however, Au maintained her composure to close out the first game.

From then on, 30-year-old Au continued to remain in control throughout the 33-minute battle to run out an 11-9, 11-8, 11-4 winner.

“I’m feeling really good after today’s performance,” said Au following her big win.

“Laura is a really experienced and determined player, so I needed to stay concentrated throughout the whole match. If I lost my concentration, then I knew that she would fight back and give me a hard time.

“I’m really happy today with my game plan and pleased that I played well. I really tried to play the ball deep and not be too rushed. I think everyone knows that I really like to attack in with my drops, so today I tried to be more patient and hit more on the backhand.

“It’s the first time for me and also for Hong Kong to get into the quarter-finals of the World Championships, so I’m really thankful to all the coaches and especially to my brother [Leo Au] who plays later today and came out to support me.”

[12] Annie Au (HKG) bt [7] Laura Massaro (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-4 (33m)

Rodriguez Prevails in Mammoth Willstrop Battle

Colombia’s World No.7 Miguel Rodriguez secured his first ever win over England’s former World No.1 James Willstrop to reach the quarter-finals of the PSA World Championships in an epic 105-minute battle.

Going into the match, Willstrop boasted a strong advantage over the ‘Colombian Cannonball’ with a 7-0 head-to-head record in favour of the tall Englishman. However, Rodriguez reversed that bad run of form as he twice came from behind to win in an intense five-game battle in Chicago.

A lengthy first match went in the favour of the former World No.1 as he eventually converted on the tie-break at the fifth attempt with both players going toe-to-toe with their contrasting styles of play.

Rodriguez appeared to get his game plan back on song in the second game, with Willstrop beginning to look laboured as the Colombian levelled the scores with an 11-2 win. However, the experienced Willstrop soon fought back to punish Rodriguez with his incredible accuracy to put his nose ahead in the match once again.

Willstrop continued to heap pressure on Rodriguez, moving the 33-year-old into all areas of the court, but a resilient Rodriguez continued to work hard physically to once again come from behind to level the scores.

The final match saw Rodriguez display his supreme athleticism to close out a 12-14, 11-2, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8 victory.

“I didn’t expect this kind of match,” said Bogota-born Rodriguez following the match.

“I had to fight mentally to beat him today. I am very physical, but he has so much more experience on Tour. It is my first win against him and I am very proud of my performance today.

“The strength, the passion and the training that I put in back home before this tournament all helped me today. Getting through the first three rounds was my main aim and now I’m looking forward to the rest of the tournament.”

[6] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt [16] James Willstrop (ENG) 3-2: 12-14, 11-2, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8 (105m)

Gohar Conquers Lust

Egypt’s former World No.2 Nouran Gohar displayed a controlled performance to knock out England’s Victoria Lust and reach her fourth consecutive PSA World Championships quarter-finals.

The two players had only met three times previously on the PSA Tour with Lust taking two of those victories. However, Gohar levelled the scores today with a strong performance inside Chicago’s Union Station.

The Egyptian, who has regained her form this season, took the opening two games before battling back from 9-5 down in the third to claim six points in succession and take the victory in 36 minutes.

“I think I was 9-5 down in the third,” said the 21-year-old from Cairo.

“I was just trying to hit as many winning shots as possible and attack – you are down, so you’re not losing anything, why not try everything and it worked.

“It’s always a bit heated with Vicky. She’s trying to pick everything around the court, so it’s normal to have some traffic issues. It’s not always great to have these kind of things, but you just have to dig in and play.

“It’s huge for me to be in the quarters for the fourth time. I can’t really describe how much happier I am now and get back on this kind of court and play at these amazing venues.”

[8] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [15] Victoria Lust (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-9 (36m)

Marwan ElShorbagy Triumphs Against Cuskelly

Egypt’s World No.8 Marwan ElShorbagy put in a disciplined performance to overcome Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly in the last 16 of the PSA World Championships.

ElShorbagy was celebrating his 300th PSA match and certainly ensured it was one to remember as he ran out an 11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7 winner in 58 minutes.

The Egyptian reached the final of last season’s tournament, narrowly losing out to older brother, Mohamed, in five-game and the World No.8 is hoping that he can go one better this year after putting in a controlled performance to reach the quarter-finals.

“I’m really happy with my performance today,” said the 25-year-old.

“Even in the game I lost I thought I played pretty well, but all credit to Ryan, he dug in in that third game. I’m very happy with the way I came back in the fourth to win the match, it means a lot to me.

“I have a day off tomorrow and hopefully I’ll come back sharper before the quarter-finals. It’s such a great venue and to be able to play here is great for all the players. Chicago is one of my favourite cities so I’m going to enjoy my day off.

“Last year I reached the final and lost to my big brother, hopefully this year I can go one better. I feel each match, I am learning something new and I’m here to enjoy it. I feel like I am getting better each round, the only thing I am thinking about is my next match and let’s see what happens.”

[8] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [14] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-1: 11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7 (58m)

El Tayeb Powers Past Alves

Egypt’s World No.4 Nour El Tayeb powered past France’s Melissa Alves in straight-games to reach the quarter-finals of the PSA World Championships.

The Egyptian put in another clean performance to ensure that she did not fall victim to ‘giant killer’ Alves, who knocked out El Tayeb’s compatriot Salma Hany yesterday at the University Club of Chicago.

El Tayeb will now face Hong Kong’s Annie Au for a place in the semi-finals.

“She played very well in the first two rounds,” said the 25-year-old.

“The match with Salma was streamed, so I studied very hard in the morning and I think I had an idea about how to play against her.

“I’m in the quarter-finals and that’s all I care about, if I win in five or win in three it doesn’t matter to me. I have a rest day tomorrow so I can relax a little bit and I’m very excited to be back here in a couple of days.”

[3] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [L] Melissa Alves (FRA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 11-6 (23m)

ElShorbagy Title Defence Continues

Egypt’s World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy continued his strong title defence at the PSA World Champions after defeating Hong Kong’s Leo Au to reach the quarter-finals.

The reigning World Champion pulled out his strongest performance of the week so far to nullify Au’s attacking intent and will now face Colombian Cannonball Miguel Rodriguez for a place in the semi-finals.

“I’m really happy with my performance today,” said the 28-year-old.

“Leo is a really good player, we played through juniors, so we know each other’s game very well. I knew I needed to be sharp from the first point and I’m really glad I got through in three.

“I felt like I started a bit shaky. There are two types of athletes – one that can go through from the first round of the tournament and can just step it up from the first point and then there are others, like me, who get better each round.

“I felt like I’ve gotten better since my first two rounds and its important that you step it up when you need to. So far I am still in the tournament – there were a lot of higher seeded players who went out in the first round here and when that happens that can make the other top seeds nervous.”

[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Leo Au (HKG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 11-6 (31m)

El Welily Downs Waters

Egypt’s World No.1 Raneem El Welily continued her formidable form in Chicago after downing England’s former World No.3 Alison Waters to reach the quarter-finals of the PSA World Championships.

The reigning World Champion was in impressive form as she found her accuracy and range quickly to nullify Waters and move into the next round.

El Welily will now face compatriot Nouran Gohar for a place in the last four.

“Playing Alison in a round of 16 is something hard to believe,” said El Welily following her win.

“She is so strong, so I knew this was going to be tough and that I had to be sharp. I’m glad I was that and I was strong and I thought I played really well. We had really tough rallies in the middle and I think that made the crucial difference today.

“I’m glad I managed to push myself after those crucial points and take the lead, but it was definitely a close match.

“I’m very happy to be playing at this great venue and looking forward to my next match.”

[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [9] Alison Waters (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 (29m)

Momen Conquers Abouelghar in Five

Egypt’s World No.3 Tarek Momen conquered compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar in five-games to reach the quarter-finals in Chicago.

Momen was forced to come from behind twice to take the win after Abouelghar got off to a strong start inside Union Station.

Going into the match, the head-to-head record was heavily in the favour of the higher seeded Egyptian with Momen claiming all seven victories and he made sure he maintained that record with a strong performance.

Abouelghar took first blood, claiming the first game by an 11-5 scoreline, before Momen fought back to level the scores in the second.

The third saw a much tighter battle between the two Egyptians, before Abouelghar once again took the advantage to claim an 11-8 lead. It looked as though the match was going to swing in the favour of the 25-year-old, however, a series of errors saw him allow Momen a way back into the encounter.

From then on the higher seeded Egyptian was in control and closed out the victory by a 5-11, 11-4, 8-11, 13-11, 11-3 scoreline. Momen will now face Marwan ElShorbagy for a place in the last four.

“It’s really hard playing someone so many times,” said the 31-year-old.

“Almost every tournament we are playing now and it’s unlucky for both of us and it can only mean one thing that we are learning more about each other and the games are getting tougher.

“We’re anticipating everything and he is trying to study me each time and he gets better each time. We had a close 3-2 last time and he held match point today. At some point in the fourth I was 5-2 down, but he had a big gap and led most of the way.

“I lost last time in the last 16 and I didn’t want to exit the tournament at the same round so I kept going. In the fifth I had a good lead and managed to maintain it and I’m really pleased to be through.”

[4] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [9] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-2: 5-11, 11-4, 8-11, 13-11, 11-3 (67m)