R2:  Marwan ElShorbagy (Egy) 3-1 Karim El Hammamy (Egy) 11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6 (67m)
Marwan ElShorbagy wins a close four-game tussle with Karim El Hammamy …
It was such a pleasure to see Karim back on the glasscourt. That boy, former World Junior Champion, was doing his engineering diplomas as well as trying to stay on the PSA. He is a naturally gifted athlete and unfortunately, kept getting injury after injury.
But now, his diploma in his pocket, 25 years old, he is/was injury free and was able to train well with Karim Ali Fathy and his fitness coach Samy Farag. I always saw him rely on his physical abilities to play, but recently, he has realised he’s got the racquet skills too.
And today, Marwan was surprised by the quality of the counterdrop/attacks coming from his opponent’s racquet. Plus, Marwan enjoys a mid pace, taking the time to build up his rallies, which happens to be Karim’s style.
So a great battle, with Karim earning his third game by diving three times in a row in the same rally God bless him, early in the 3rd game, 3/2. When somebody is that desperate to win a rally, he usually takes the game! And so he did.
It was a long battle at times, 22m first game, 12m second, 13m fourth, and 16m minus 3m 4th for self inflicted injury.
Marwan was never comfortable out there today, Karim made it hard for him, and we are looking forward to see the young engineer back on court sooooon IsA after he takes care of that hamstring niggle…
But he was just the better player today, and I hope he does well in the tournament.
Marwan: “I’m really happy with today’s performance and I’m looking forward to the next match.
“Karim improved so much, he played well and surprised me.
“I think all I need is to sleep and I’ll recover for tomorrow’s match, I should be fine hopefully. I don’t need to much recovery, just a bit of sleep – five or six hours would be fine!”
World No.6 @maelshorbagy booked his place into the last 16 after a tough battle with compatriot Karim El Hammamy!
— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) March 21, 2021