Day 4. Quarterfinals. Simon Rösner

Andy Taylor. Host. Qatar Classic Squash Championship. Day 4. Quarterfinals. Simon Rösner

Host. Andy Taylor. Qatar Classic 2017

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Simon Rösner (GER) def [6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 11-7 9-11 11-5 11-3 (53-min)

Yesterday, Simon Rösner earned his second straight win over World #2 Karim Abdel Gawad to reach his 21st career World Series Quarterfinal. Tonight, he defeated World #6 Marwan ElShorbagy for the first time in 2-years to reach his FIRST career World Series Semifinal:

This has to be the biggest achievement of my life. It’s the first time ever I’ve reached a World Series Semis. This has to be the happiest day of my life, although I beat Karim yesterday. After all those years spent on the tour, getting to my first World Series Semis at 29 is just the best day of my life.

The German Tree Chopper. Playing Career Best Squash

Simon Rösner is the most successful German in the history of the sport. He’s been ranked as high as World #6, owns 8 PSA Tour titles, has reached 15 career finals, and is a World Games Gold medalist. Last June, he finished in the top-8 in the PSA World Series standings for the 4th time, and tore through the draw at the World Series Finals in Dubai. He defeated one of the hottest players on tour Karim Abdel Gawad — then 3-time World Champion Nick Matthew — and reached the Semifinals for the first time. Clutch.

He stared this season with a Quarterfinal run at the China Open – where he fell in three to Marwan ElShorbagy. Rösner then reached the Semifinals at the Macau Open and played in his 20th career World Series Quarterfinal at the US Open. He arrived in Doha relaxed, focused and determined to improve on his ballooning accomplishments.

Simon Rösner’s Road to the Semifinals
Marwan ElShorbagy’s Road to the Quarterfinals

Marwan ElShorbagy continues to quietly shine, ranked just outside the PSA Tour’s top-5. He’s been a top-15 player for 3-years running, and has been ranked inside the top-7 for the past 17-months. He now owns 6 PSA Tour titles in 14 career finals. Last June, he competed in the World Series Finals for the first time. Though Marwan fell to Diego Elias in Round-2 of the US Open, he started the new season with a Semifinal run at the China Open.

With Doha wins over World #10 Paul Coll and former World #3 Omar Mosaad, the student of the game with lofty self-expectation should be very satisfied with how his results are trending.

Rösner’s Defining Victory

Simon was clearly fired-up for the match. The German Tree Chopper hacked his way to a 5-0 lead before Marwan got on the board. ElShorbagy closed the gap at 6-all, but would only earn one more point the rest of the way. Rösner’s patience through long rallies was paying off. He waited for his opportunities, and converted them.

In game-2, Marwan held the edge through 8-4. Simon won four straight to level it. At 9-all, Rösner gave up two sloppy unforced errors, and the match became a best of three.

Games 3 and 4 saw the German bring back an “artistry in angles” that he displayed brilliantly through the first two rounds. It was a look Marwan wasn’t used to seeing from Rösner. ElShorbagy’s error-count climbed, while Simon powered through to the biggest win of his career…just days shy of his 30th birthday. (FULL MATCH RECAP)

Simon Rösner: I think this is already a good birthday gift but the tournament is not over yet, if I play like I have done the past two days then I can get even further. I’m feeling good, I’m playing well, I’m confident, and I feel that I can beat these guys. Because of the amazing way the tournament is treating us, I feel comfortable, I’m moving well, that’s a big part of it: everything comes together. In Shanghai he chopped me 3-0. It was always a mental thing for me, and getting to the semis is probably going to change my approach to my matches: I’m going to believe I can do it.

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