Top seed Mohamed Elshorbagy begun his bid for a home triumph at the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Black Ball Open by beating Hong Kong’s Max Lee in Egypt’s capital Cairo today.
The world number one was pushed all the way in an entertaining four-game battle, prevailing 11-7, 13-11, 2-11, 12-10 to book his place in the last-16 of the PSA World Tour Platinum series event at the Black Ball Sporting Club.
Lee, the world number 13, saved four match balls before world champion Elshorbagy was eventually able to close out the second-round contest.
The two players had met six times previously on the PSA World Tour, with Lee taking just a solitary victory back in 2015.
"Once I saw the draw and I saw I had Max in the first round, I knew how tricky that was going to be," Elshorbagy, given a first-round bye, said.
"I had to be sharp and any loose shots I played today he took full advantage of it and he showed what a great player he is.
"He is such a great talent and it was never easy from the first point.
"I’m just glad I pulled through in the end because that fourth game could have slipped away, but overall I’m happy to be through."
Standing between Elshorbagy and a place in the quarter-finals is Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng, who continued his good form in Cairo by defeating New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson 11-4, 11-9, 11-7.
Also through to the last-16 is Egypt’s Tarek Momen thanks to an 11-4, 11-5, 11-13, 11-5 victory over Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly.
Next up for the third seed is set to e a meeting with Germany’s Raphael Kandra, a 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4 winner at the expense of England’s Tom Richards.
The two other quarter-finals decided today pit seventh and eighth-seeded Egyptians Karim Abdel Gawad and Mohamed Abouelghar against Peru’s Diego Elias and England’s George Parker respectively.
Gawad beat Hong Kong’s Tsz Fung Yip 11-8, 11-8, 11-6, while Abouelghar defeated compatriot Shehab Essam 11-3, 11-8, 11-7.
Elias powered past Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller in an 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 11-1 win after Parker had come from a game down against home hope Karim El Hammamy to triumph 12-14, 11-5, 11-4, 11-7.
The other eight round-two ties are scheduled to take place tomorrow.
Action at the event is due to conclude on Sunday (December 9).