Karim Darwish (Egy) vs Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy)

Posted: 31/03/2013 in Uncategorized

By Andrew Cross


The top two seeds in the men’s event were taking on each other in the CIMB KL Open final 2013, Karim Darwish the top seed taking on his younger compatriot Mohammed El Shorbagy who was seeded second. Shorbagy has just moved in front of Karim in the rankings and currently Shorbagy stands at 5th and Karim 6th in the PSA World rankings. Karim leads their head to head 7-2 but Shorbagy won the last time they played winning in three games in the World Open last December.

The opening exchanges are tight, lengthy rallies followed by a couple of shorter rallies. At 6.6 Shorbagy completely misses a return of serve to give Karim a one point lead. A couple of lets follow but in the next rally Karim punishes Shorbagy with a low cross court backhand. Shorbagy responds with a forehand drop of his own and is awarded a stroke in the next rally to level at 8.8. Karim regains his lead but misses a forehand volley which he was slightly reaching for tied again at 9.9.  It is Karim who gets to game ball first after Shorbagy misses a backhand drop and on game ball again he clips the top of the tin with a backhand drop.

In the second it begins the same as the first but this time there is a few more unforced errors from Shorbagy but he was also hitting a few winners. Karim leads 7.6 but then Shorbagy is awarded two no let’s so Karim now leads 9.6. Karim though hits the tin with a backhand drop, Shorbagy thunders in a big winner back to 8.9. A huge rally at 8.9 both players realising the importance of it, Karim plays a beautiful trickle boast Shorbagy dives for it gets it on the wall as Karim misses the volley with Shorbagy struggling to get to his feet. Another big rally at 9.9 Shorbagy blocking out Karim for a low straight drive winner now its game ball Shorbagy. Karim plays a great trickle boast from the back forehand then Shorbagy puts an easy one in the tin to give game ball to Karim. There is no fear though from Shorbagy as he aggressively goes for a return cross court nick but misses finding himself under pressure, with Karim eventually squeezing one tight drop on the backhand side.

Karim starts the third leading 3.0 but Shorbagy fights back to lead 5.4, Karim gets back to 5.5 as Shorbagy is awarded a no let. Karim gets his score moving forward again as Shorbagy clips a few more tins. Leading 9.6 he is only two points away from winning the title but Shorbagy isn’t done yet as he plays a forehand drop to stay in it. Karim responds with a perfect backhand drive and then a forehand drop of his own to take the 2013 CIMB KL Open title.


Karim deserved to win all credit to him for putting me under more pressure. I would like to thank CIMB for their support in this event, the referees who have done a good job. Hopefully I’ll be back again.


I had to play extremely well last time he beat me in three, He is really tough to play. Happy that my wife and son are here it’s his first time watching obviously he has brought me a bit of luck so I will have to take him with me again.

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