Mohamed ElShorbagy (Eng) 3-1 Baptiste Masotti (Fra) 8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-8 (35m)
Today, Mohamed didn’t have to force his talents. Baptiste looked a bit slow to the front, and Mohamed noticed it rather early in the match. Yesterday the Frenchman hurt his back, and despite heavy treatment with Diego’s physio today, he was not 100%. And if you can’t twist and turn against Shorbagy, you are in a lot of troubles….
I don’t think he was expecting to win the first game to be fair. I don’t think he backed himself at all today. I could see he was struggling with his body, it was very obvious.
When we shook hands at the end, I asked him what was wrong. We are a little group, he is one of my close friends, him, Diego, Tamimi, my brother, we are a close group together, so I asked him what was up with him. He confirmed he did something in his back, but luckily, it’s off season for him now, he can get it sorted properly.
I had a very poor start, it was an on-and-off warm-up, Salma nearly winning the third, then losing in the tie break, one hour late, but it was the same for both of us, he delt with it better than me… by the time I got to the match, he already had that lead.
Then in the second game, I started to put a bit of work in his legs, and after that game, I told Greg there was something wrong with his body, we need to attack whatever weakness area I felt in the court.
At the end of the day, it was good to be tested a bit, he got back at me in the fourth, when he came back at 8/9, I didn’t want it to go to 9/9. He kept going for shots, he hit so many nicks from the backhand side in the 4th because he had nothing to lose.
When you are playing someone who’s got nothing to lose and with a problem with his body, sometimes they can be so dangerous, and he can hit shots!
At the end of the day, it’s not my best performance but matches like that, you just want to win them. If he had been fit and playing his game, I would have had to raise my game to match him. He would have forced me to play better.
Looking forward to playing on the glass with Fares in two days. Well, last time we played he beat me in the Eygptian Open in September. We’ve know each other since we were kids, we are both from Alexandria and I know that when his body holds and he can play to his best, he can take anyone out.
He did beat everyone on Tour, how many people outside the top ten have got that track record? When he can play consistently, without any injuries, he can produce the level that we play at the top so that what makes him so dangerous playing him so early in the tournament like I’m doing here.
He does get results, I know he’s going to be dangerous, I’m looking forward to play him, we always have good matches together, my team, his team have got a lot of respect for each other, we have respect for each other, we have a good relationship, when I beat him, I’ve always been nice with him, and the same when he beat me, always in good spirit, but we both fight hard on court too… We both know it’s going to be wild on court, we are both going to leave it all on court, and when it’s over, it’s always respect between us.
— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) May 27, 2023