Canary Wharf Classic 2023: Mohamed ElShorbagy beats James Willstrop

March 15, 2023 - 5:18am
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In a battle of two former World No.1, Mohamed ElShorbagy overcame 39-year-old James Willstrop in a three-game contest to reach the quarter finals of the GillenMarkets Canary Wharf Classic in London.

The match was one of two between two former World No.1s, with Paul Coll and Karim Abdel Gawad also doing battle on Tuesday evening. The last match of the evening saw ElShorbagy and Willstrop go head-to-head in an enticing clash, one that delighted the home crowd in London.

After a tight first game, which the current World No.3 claimed 12-10, Willstrop then saved a match ball in the second to extend the match into a decider. ElShorbagy was able to eek out the win with an 11-8 scoreline in the third, to move through to the last eight, where he will face another former World No.1, in Ali Farag.

“It was obviously a great match for the crowd,” said ElShorbagy. “I mean, James was James, if you will give him any opening he is so accurate. We played a high quality match. Very good to see him… any of the past champions, and the current champions, of course.