HISHAM MOHD ASHOUR, the older brother of world number one Ramy Ashour, celebrated his return to the PSA World Tour after a seven-month absence by winning his first-round match in the fifth annual Betty F Griffin Florida State Open Squash Championship.
The Cairo-born 31-year-old defeated Jordan qualifier Ahmad Alzabidi 11-7, 12-14, 11-7, 11-7 to progress into the PSA Challenger 10 event at the Lifetime Athletic Club.
The number four seed has not featured on Tour since losing to Eddie Charlton at the Internacional Sporta Open in May, but the world number 78 looked sharp as he overcame a second-game blip to progress past the first-round stage of a PSA event for only the second-time this year.
“The front walls were too fast that I couldn’t make my drops as effective as I would have liked,” said the US-based Ashour. “I’m going to have to work on some different shots to close out some of these points in the upcoming games.”
Ashour now faces Graeme Schnell, a Canadian qualifier, who upset Joe Chapman, of the British Virgin Islands, 11-7, 6-11, 11-5, 11-4.
On a day of several shocks, English wildcard Reuben Phillips fought back from a game down to beat number three seed Yasir Ali Butt 9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-6.
Elsewhere, Qatar teenager Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi staged the biggest comeback of the day to defeat Arturo Salazar. From two games down, the 18-year-old battled back to draw level, then clinched the decider to triumph over the higher-ranked Mexican 4-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-2, 11-7.
 Alfredo Avila (Mex) v Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (Qat)
 Hisham Mohd Ashour (Egy) v [Q] Graeme Schnell (Can)
[WC] Reuben Phillips (Eng) v Johan Bouquet (Fra)
 Farhan Zaman (Pak) v Eric Galvez (Mex)
 Alfredo Avila (Mex) 3-0 [Q] Syed Hamzah Shah Bukhari (Pak) 13-11, 11-6, 13-11 (90m)
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (Qat) 3-2 Arturo Salazar (Mex) 4-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-2, 11-7
[Q] Graeme Schnell (Can) 3-1 Joe Chapman (Ivb) 11-7, 6-11, 11-5, 11-4
 Hisham Mohd Ashour (Egy) 3-1 [Q] Ahmad Alzabidi (Jor) 11-7, 12-14, 11-7, 11-7
[WC] Reuben Phillips (Eng) 3-1  Yasir Ali Butt (Pak) 9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-6
Johan Bouquet (Fra) 3-1 [Q] Adrian Leanza (Usa) 11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 11-4
Eric Galvez (Mex) 3-1 Chris Ryder (Eng) 12-14, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5
 Farhan Zaman (Pak) 3-0 Peter Creed (Wal) 11-9, 11-6, 11-5
Picture by Steve Cubbins (SquashSite)