Legend Shabana falls at the first hurdle - November 25, 2011
Legend Shabana falls at the first hurdle
Amr Shabana, the four times former World Open champion, suffered his second surprising defeat in two weeks when he fell at his first hurdle in the Kuwait PSA Cup.
The Egyptian legend suffered a 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 second round loss to Simon Rosner, the German who has risen to a career high world number 24, but has never beaten a player of Shabana’s calibre before.
Last week Shabana lost in the quarter-finals in Hong Kong to Azlan Iskandar, the world number 13 from Malaysia. Now he looked subdued and below par against a calm and highly motivated Rosner.
“I have lost to him so many times,” said the man from Paderborn. “Shabana used to be – he still is – my big idol.
“I watched him when I was 12 and 13 years old. I watched him so much that this seems amazing to me.”
Shabana’s defeat was all the more surprising because it happened at the same Green Island location where he won the last of his world titles two years ago, and where his memories are happy ones.
Earlier Iskandar won in straight games against Jon Kemp, the top 30 Englishman and now has the chance of another giant-killing feat, for he plays Greg Gaultier, the former world number one from France.
Gaultier who won his first major title in two years in Qatar earlier in the month, won 11-7, 11-2, 11-6 against Omar Abdel Aziz, the world number 40 from Egypt.
“I am really working a lot on injury prevention now," said Gaultier. "I am really serious about it. I really want to do well here, but you can't always be a hundred percent.
Gaultier was joined in the last 16 by three other front runners – Nick Matthew, the World Open champion from England, his compatriot James Willstrop, who took the title in Hong Kong last week, and Karim Darwish, the former world number one from Egypt.
The closest to an upset came when Mohamed El Shorbagy, the 7th seeded former world junior champion from Egypt, had to save a match point to get past Borja Golan, the former top ten Spaniard.
“I never played four tournaments in a month before,” said the 19-year-old Egyptian after his 12-10, 11-7, 5-11, 2-11, 12-10 survival. “It’s a new experience for me.”
El Shorbagy now plays Daryl Selby, the ninth-seeded British national champion who had to battle very hard to overcome the local hero Abdullah Almezayen and the home support before winning 9-11, 11-3, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9.