Ashour falls to Elshorbagy in 17 minutes
By NATHAN CLARKE (PSA)
Egyptian World No.4 Elshorbagy came through 11-5, 11-5 to record his first ever victory over the two-time World Champion on the PSA World Tour. He will now take on Tarek Momen tomorrow with a win guaranteeing him a place in the semi-finals.
It was the first meeting on the PSA World Tour between Elshorbagy and Ashour since they contested the 2012 World Squash Championship final when Ashour emerged a 3-2 victor after a 90-minute marathon and today’s victory was a significant one for the 23-year-old.
“Beating Ramy is a big confidence boost for me,” said Elshorbagy.
“Neither of us tend to start tournaments well and in this format there cannot be mistakes so I’m really happy to have played well and hopefully I can keep that going through the week.
‘Getting my first win over him is a great boost for me but I have to beat players like him on a consistent basis – doing it once isn’t enough.
“I’ve got the win over Ramy now and I beat Nick (Matthew) during the Qatar Classic last year but I have to prove I’m good enough by beating them again and again.
“That’s what they and Greg (Gaultier) and James (Willstrop) have done for years. I’m learning from them all the time and I feel like it’s my turn now.”
World Champion and current World No.1 Nick Matthew also got his World Series Finals title bid off to a winning start, beating German champion Simon Rosner 2-0.
The victory was a welcome boost for the 33-year-old, who showed no signs of the back injury which forced an end to his recent Chicago Windy City Open title challenge, as he looks to win his first ever World Series Finals.
“I haven’t won this event before and hopefully I can finally put it right this week,” said Matthew.
“Last year I had a slow start and Amr Shabana gave me a bit of a lesson so I wanted to get off to a quick winning start this time so that cushion is there and when it’s the best of three format, a quick start is vital in each match as well.
“Keeping my body right, and as long as it holds up, will be key to that so hopefully it can go well for me this week.”
World Series Finals – Round Robin Day One Results
Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 2-0: 1-4, 11-9 [42 mins]
Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Simon Rosner (GER) 2-0: 11-7, 11-2 [30 mins]
Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Ramy Ashour (EGY) 2-0: 11-5, 11-5 [17 mins]
James Willstrop (ENG) bt Tarek Momen (EGY) 2-0: 11-8, 11-4 [40 mins]