Diego Elias def Mohamed Elshorbagy

Andy Taylor Announcer 2018 Qatar Classic Quarterfinal Interview Diego Elias
Announcer Andy Taylor | The Voice of the Qatar Classic | Photo: Steve Cubbins
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[8] Diego Elias -13- (PER) def [1] Mohamed Elshorbagy -01- (EGY)

[vector_icon icon=”fas fa-check-circle”] Quarterfinal Score: 11-8, 11-13, 13-11, 10-12, 11-7 (76m)

Match recap from Squash Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar Classic.

Emotional, defining victory for Diego Elias. Humbling defeat for World #1 Mohamed Elshorbagy.

First, the defending champion

Yesterday, the Beast of Alexandria told fans the loss to Joel Makin in Weybridge 12-days-ago was a “necessary slap in the face.” A wake-up call. Fully aware that he can’t win every single match, Mohamed recognizes the significance of putting losses like that in perspective. He said there was a positive side – it gave him time to rest-up for the Qatar Classic. He felt fresh in pursuit of his 19th Platinum title.

However with today’s result, we’re also forced to recognize the two-fold negative of a loss like that to Joel Makin: One, it gives your opponents belief that they can do the same. And two, regardless of talent, losses like that can erode in-match confidence and decision-making when competition gets tight. In sport, winning begets winning. Losing often does the same.

Make no mistake, Mohamed Elshorbagy will use this result as fuel to propel him to even greater heights. That’s what champions do. Hiccups are common after prolonged spells of excellence – ask Karim Abdel Gawad after his 2016-17 season. It’s back to work, mentally and physically, for the Best of Alexandria.

Diego Elias gets over the hump

None of the above should discredit the tremendous display of squash The Peruvian Puma delivered today. This was a high-quality, agressive, fast-paced match. After winning a tight first game, Diego tenaciously held the edge most of the way – jumping on-top again by winning game-3, keeping it close in the fourth, then surging to victory in the decider.

It’s a special victory. Not only did Diego defeat the sport’s top-player, he advanced to the Semifinals of a PSA Platinum event for the first time. Most importantly, he proved to himself that he could win this match-up. He got over the hump.

Last May, Diego and Mohamed met in the 1st-Round of the British Open, where ElShorbagy came back – down 2-games to love – to earn the victory. In 2016, they played for the very first time on this court. It was a 5-game battle that lasted 63-minutes.

► May 2018 – British Open (R1) – Mohamed ElShorbagy | Score: 5-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-4 (54m)
► Nov 2016 – Qatar Classic (R1) – Mohamed ElShorbagy | Score: 11-4, 8-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5 (63m)

Today, it’s Diego’s turn to celebrate. Cold beer tonight, Simon Rösner tomorrow.

Each player’s announcer introduction for today’s Quarterfinal match…

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[8] Diego Elias -13- (PER)

At 21-years-old, tonight he is competing in his 4th Platinum Quarterfinal, and 2nd consecutive Quarterfinal here in Doha. He owns 4 PSA Tour titles, is an 8-time Finalist on Tour, and last week – enjoyed another Semifinal-run at the St. George’s Hill Classic for the 2nd straight year. He started the new season by going undefeated at the “Pan American” and “Pam American Team” Championships, winning 9 consecutive matches in the Cayman Islands to capture individual Gold.

Last year, he started his Doha-run with a 3-game victory over 2005 Champion James Willstrop, then defeated Saurav Ghosal to reach his 3rd straight Platinum Quarterfinal; and by January, climbed to a career-high ranking, cracking the PSA’s top-10 for the first time. Competing in his 3rd Qatar Classic Squash Championship, he’s reached the Final-8 with victories over World #19 Raphael Kandra, and the Black Falcon Mazen Hesham. From Peru, please welcome the #13 Player in the World – The Peruvian Puma – Diego Elias.

▲ R3 — def Mazen Hesham -35- (EGY) | Score: 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 (36m) | RECAP
▲ R2 — def Raphael Kandra -19- (GER) | Score: 10-12, 11-4, 11-3, 11-5 (42m) | RECAP
▲ R1 — Bye

Announcer Corner | Diego Elias’ Best Platinum runs to date:

Injured after the Qatar Classic, he couldn’t string together the results he saw from April of 2017 through November.

[vector_icon icon=”fas fa-check”] Nov 17 (QF) – Qatar Classic
[vector_icon icon=”fas fa-check”] Oct 17 (QF) – US Open
[vector_icon icon=”fas fa-check”] Apr 17 (QF) – El Gouna International

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[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy -01- (EGY)

He is the defending and 3-time Qatar Classic Champion. Last year on this court, he reached his 6th successive championship match in Doha – eclipsing legend Jansher Khan’s record of five consecutive Finals between 1992 and ’96.

The World #1, he has held the sport’s top-ranking for 3-years combined – more than any other active player – and earlier this month, captured his 18th career Platinum-level title at the US Open. One of only nine men in squash history to win the year-end PSA World Tour Finals more than once, he now owns a grand total of 32 PSA titles, and has reached 52 career championship matches.

Appearing in his 9th Qatar Classic Squash Championship – tonight marks his 54th career Platinum-level Quarterfinal. From Egypt, please welcome the reigning World Champion, PSA World Tour Finals Champion, and the #1 Player in the World – The Beast of Alexandria – Mohamed ElShorbagy.

▲ R3 — def Adrian Waller -37- (ENG) | Score: 11-8, 11-5, 11-7 (31m) | RECAP
▲ R2 — def Tsz Fung Yip -27- (HKG) | Score: 11-3, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9 (34m) | RECAP
▲ R1 — Bye

Announcer Corner | Elshorbagy is #5 on the all-time list of World #1’s:
  1. Janshir Khan (PAK) — 97-months — Played Feb-87 to Dec-98 / 11-year career
  2. Jahangir Khan (PAK) — 94-months — Apr-80 to Nov-93 / 13-year career
  3. Peter Nicol (ENG) — 60-months — Jan-92 to Oct-06 / 14-year career
  4. Geoff Hunt (AUS) — 59-months — Jan-75 to Mar-82 / 7-year career, nearly 5 spent as World #1
  5. Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) — 36-months — Aug-06 to Present / 12-year career continues