James Willstrop denied by Mohamed ElShorbagy in thrilling Oracle NetSuite Open semi-final

James Willstrop was denied a place in the 2017 Men’s Oracle NetSuite Open in San Francisco by former World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy who overcame his English rival 11-2 11-13 8-11 11-6 14-12 in a 70-minute thriller.

Willstrop had fought back from a game down and 10-4 down in the second to go 2-1 ahead but ElShorbagy, who won the PSA Dubai World Series Finals on his last PSA World Tour outing - came back at him in the fourth to set up a nail-biting decider. Both players had match balls as the clash headed into a tie-break but it was the man from Egypt who held his nerve to take it 11-2 11-13 8-11 11-6 14-12.
 
“I was thinking I should have been 2-0 up and then suddenly I’m 2-1 down in the semi-finals against someone like James, it was such a huge challenge for me to stay positive and remove any kind of negative thoughts," said ElShorbagy.
 
"I’m really proud with how I came back, it was never easy, and even in the fifth game, to be 10-8 up and then finding myself 11-10 down after having two match balls, it was challenge after challenge.
 
“James was playing so well today and once he won that second game and got his confidence, he was like a train, there were times when I couldn’t stop him. I had to keep fighting and that’s what I do best."
 
Results - Semi-Finals: 2017 Men’s Oracle NetSuite Open
[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [4] James Willstrop (ENG) 3-2: 11-2, 11-13, 8-11, 11-6, 14-12 (70m)
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Diego Elias (PER) 3-2: 6-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 (90m)
 
Final: To Be Played on the 30th September
[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v [1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY
 
UNSQUASHABLE is committed to developing equipment to be used by the world’s leading players because we believe that engineering equipment for professional competition makes for a better product for the everyday player.
 
James Willstrop uses the UNSQUASHABLE JAMES WILLSTROP AUTOGRAPH racket which is available exclusively from www.unsquashable.com
 
UNSQUASHABLE sponsored players and brand ambassadors competing on the PSA World Tour are sponsored by AJ Bell, one of the UK’s largest providers of online investment platforms and stockbroker services.
 
For more information regarding the Oracle NetSuite Open, visit: www.psaworldtour.com, www.squashsite.com & www.netsuiteopensquash.tix.com