DEFENDING champion Mohamed El Shorbagy, who is hoping to become the first player to win the Qatar Classic three times, is worried about playing non-stop.
The World Championship in Cairo ended only recently and players did not have much time to rest before the Qatar Classic.
“It’s very hard to play in back-to-back tournaments. We just finished the Worlds in Cairo, and win or lose it’s very hard for the body,” said El Shorbagy who lost to compatriot and eventual champion Karim Abdel Gawad in the semifinal in Cairo.
El Shorbagy was not in his element and as he had to use all his resources to beat Peru’s Diego Elias in the first-round tie, which lasted 63 minutes.
“I’m just happy to get through and live another day in this event,” added El Shorbagy.
He was all praise for his opponent, who is a two-time junior world champion.
“All credit to Diego (Elias) who played superbly. He’s an amazing guy. We’re very good friends on and off the court. I know we’ll have many more hard battles in the future, and I know that soon, he’ll beat us all, but for now, I’m happy to try and beat him a few more times,” he said.
The world No.1 also sounded happy on his return to Doha, where he is a crowd favourite among the sizeable Egyptian expatriate population.
“I’ve great memories of Qatar. This is where I won my first Professional Squash Association World Tour title. It’s a place which is very close to my heart,” he added.