Mohamed Abouelghar -08- (EGY) def Leo Au -30- (HKG)
Round-2 Score: 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 4-11, 12-10 (68m)
Match recap from Squash Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the 2019 PSA Mens World Championship.
After a career-best season last year, culminating with an appearance in the championship match of the PSA World Tour Finals, Mohamed Abouelghar needed recovery. He didn’t fire-up his 2019-20 season until 2-weeks-ago at the Egyptian Open, where he fell to World #45 Chris Simpson in 5-games. On Friday, he defeated Pakistan’s Tayyab Aslam in 25-minutes to earn his first win of the season.
But the World #8 still needs to knock the rust off. After a commanding 2-games against Leo Au in Round-2, Mohamed struggled with Leo’s tactical transition. In games one and two, nothing was working for Leo – so he instinctively went old-school, effectively deploying a lob-drop game to get Abouelghar moving. It worked.
As is common with so much on the line, the referee became a traffic-cop in game-5 – and the match was settled on a stroke call in the tiebreak. Beyond frustrated, somehow Leo managed to refrain from smashing his racquet. Understandable. This is the World Championship, and a victory over Abouelghar would have been Leo’s 200th career win on the PSA World Tour.
Mohamed remains undefeated against Au, but he’ll need to improve his in-match problem-solving to make a deep run in Doha.
► Nov 2019 | Abouelghar def Au | R2 World Championship – Score: 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 4-11, 12-10 (68m)
► Dec 2017 | Abouelghar def Au | SF Pakistan Open – Score: 11-9, 12-14, 11-4, 11-6
Announcer Corner | Player Introductions
 Mohamed Abouelghar -08- (EGY)
He is an Egyptian National Champion (2015), and last season – delivered his best year on Tour. He started the season by earning his first career victory over Gregory Gautier, won titles at the China and Motor City Opens; and at the Platinums, reached the Quarterfinals four-times – climbing to a career-high ranking of World #7. Inside the top-8, he qualified for the PSA World Tour Finals for the first time, where he battled-through to the title-match in his year-end championship debut. He now owns 10 PSA titles in all, is a 16-time Tour-level Finalist, and is competing in his 8th PSA World Championship. A Finalist here in Doha 7-years-ago at the World Junior Championship – From Egypt, he is The Bullet – Mohamed Abouelghar.
► Before his Round-2 loss at the Egyptian Open 2-weeks-ago, Mohamed Abouelghar hadn’t played a match on Tour since last June’s World Tour Finals in Cairo. In Giza, after a 1st-Round Bye – he fell to Chris Simpson in 5-games.
► Mohamed Abouelghar had some huge wins last season:
- He defeated Gregory Gaultier for the first time, then Paul Coll to win the China Open.
- He knocked Karim Abdel Gawad out of the US Open, and earned a win over the 2016 World Champ at the World Tour Finals.
- Defeated Diego Ellias in the Final of the Motor City Open
- Upset World #1 Ali Farag at the Grasshopper Cup
▲ R1 — def Tayyab Aslam -60- (PAK) | Score: 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 (25m) | RECAP
Leo Au -30- (HKG)
Back in July, this 5-time Hong Kong Nationals Champion won his 11th PSA title right here in Doha at the Squash Federation Open – defeating Qatar’s #1, Abdulla Al Tamimi in the championship match. It was the conclusion of a tremendous season that saw him crack the PSA’s top-20 for the first time, capture Gold at the Asian Games, and enjoy a career-best run at the PSA World Championship where he reached the Round of 16. He earned another career-first just 2-weeks-ago at the Egyptian Open, scoring a pair of wins to make his PSA Platinum Round of 16 debut. Competing in his 9th World Championship, he’s through to the 2nd-Round for the 4th time. From Hong Kong – This is Leo Au.
▲ R1 — def Todd Harrity -49- (USA) | Score: 16-14, 11-7, 11-3 (36m) | RECAP