Saturday, May 18, 2024

Mostafa Asal wins through in Chicago on world squash tour return

Mostafa Asal safely negoatiated his first tour match since March as fellow top seed Nouran Gohar also won through to the second round of the World Championships in Chicago.

Asal, playing his first event since returning from a six-week suspension, overcame Leandro Romiglio of Argentina 3-0 in a 41-minute outing.

He said: “Coming back from a suspension is never easy, but I’m feeling good. When you’re World No.1 and you get a six-week suspension, you focus on your training 100 per cent. 

“It was a good period of training and all the other players were fatiguing from playing tournaments, so maybe I will be fitter at this tournament.

“Congrats to Diego [Elias] for being World No.1, but there will be another fight here.”

Defending World Champion Ali Farag got his title defence off to a perfect start after defeating Ramit Tandon 3-0.

The three-time World Champion edged a tough battle in the first game, winning 14-12 in the tie break.

Farag, who recently lifted the British Open crown a few weeks ago, then clinched the second and third games 11-4 and 11-3 to prevail and reach the second round.

Chicago-based Nathan Lake has claimed his first ever win at the PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family after he clawed back a 2-1 deficit against compatriot Curtis Malik at the University Club of Chicago this afternoon.

Since his debut in the qualifying draw of the 2013 World Championships, Lake hasn’t been able to make it beyond the opening round of the main draw despite some near misses. However, this time around the 30-year-old was able to oust his countryman courtesy of an 11-9, 11-13, 11-13, 11-4, 11-9 victory.

”I remember winning my first match in the qualis and I remember thinking that I had a 100 per cent record.. then I didn’t win one for 10 years,” said Lake, who will take on World No.18 Gregoire Marche in the last 32.

“I thought Curtis played very well and didn’t let me settle. I was pleased that I hung in there mentally, I didn’t feel I played my best squash but I managed to hang in there at 9-7. I got 11 points in every game, so it was very close, I had to try and stay present all the way through.

“It’s only a five-minute walk [from home] and I’m here five or six times a week. I know all the members and it’s a great community, they definitely inspired me at the end to keep pushing.”

Frenchman Victor Crouin is also through to round two after he defeated Spain’s Bernat Jaume, while his compatriot Lucas Serme fell to Egypt’s Mazen Hesham. Karim El Hammamy and Aly Abou Eleinen have also secured their places in the next round.

New Zealand No.1 Paul Coll cruised into the second round after dispatching USA’s Faraz Khan in straight games.

Nouran Gohar

Coll, who was a semi-finalist at last season’s event, comfortably went two games up but it was a close contest in the third as Khan looked to find a way back in the match. However it was Coll who came out on top to book his place in the second round.

In the women’s event, World No.1 Gohar produced a comprehensive display to seal her spot in the second round, overcoming her Egyptian compatriot Nour Aboulmakarim.

USA No.4 Sabrina Sobhy has also booked her spot in the last 32 after beating Hong Kong’s Tsz-Wing Tong, winning 11-7, 11-3, 11-4 in 27 minutes, and she will go up against Hana Ramadan next.

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