Blog from the 2009 Tecnifibre BJO.
Not only did El Shourbagy do a professional job retaining the Drysdale Cup at the BJO last week, but he did so gaining a few admirers with the spirit in which he did it.
It has to be said that the Egytians have really cleaned up their act in terms of sportsmanship in the last 10 years or so, as before I don’t think their reputation was too hot. Now, with one notable exception, the top Egyptian guys and gals, plus the others from other nations, are all pretty good when it comes to playing fair. El Shourbagy, as one of the holders of the future of the game, seems to be taking on their good habits as he showed in his quarter final match with Kamran Khan.
He was 2-1 up and it has to be said not playing to his full potential. Now nobody would have backed against him if it had gone to a fifth, but nevertheless, there would have been a chance of a huge upset had Khan won the fourth. El Shourbagy hit what looked like a cross-court backhand volley nick clean winner at a crucial point in the game. It had minutely clipped the tin. He sportingly called it down when the refs were unsure. The worst he was looking at was a let. Again a few rallies later he has an open ball on the T and he clips Kamran on his backswing. “Yes let say the refs”. Now I know a lot of players, mine included, who would have wanted to know why it wasn’t a stroke, but he just got on with the game.
An excellent example for all to see, young and old, and long may this trend in our game continue.