Deja vu all over again as reigning champion Ramy Ashour fights to be fit for Seattle
By NATHAN CLARKE
Three-time winner Ramy Ashour is facing a race against time to be fit for the 2015 Men’s PSA World Championship and insists he is doing his best to return to defend his title ahead of the showpiece tournament which begins on Sunday November 15 at the Meydenbauer Center in Seattle.
The Egyptian, one of the most dazzlingly talented players in the history of the sport, defeated compatriot and World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy in last year’s climactic final to add to the World Championship crowns he picked up in 2008 and 2012 – the latter being at the expense of Elshorbagy again.
However, after limping out of last months’ Delaware Investments U.S. Open second round clash against Mathieu Castagnet with a hamstring problem, Ashour heads into the World Championship with injury issues having missed the entirety of the on-going Qatar Classic – a situation that draws parallels with his 2014 triumph.
“It absolutely feels like deja vu,” said Ashour, who was keeping an eye on Elshorbagy’s victory over another World crown contender, Gregory Gaultier, in yesterday’s final of the Qatar Classic in Doha .
“I am doing my best to get back and do what I love most. It’s harder than anyone can imagine. It’s [the World Championship] now more important than the Olympics to me.”
The New York-based Ashour, known as ‘The Artist’, is on the opposite side of the draw to Elshorbagy and, should he beat Australia’s Cameron Pilley in the opening round, will be on course for a repeat of last year’s epic finale.
The 2015 PSA Men’s World Championship takes place between Sunday November 15 – Sunday November 22 in Bellevue, Washington at the Meydenbauer Center and tickets can be purchased at http://www.worldsquashchamps2015.com/tickets