11:25 pm
23 Mar 2019

Defending Champion Ramy Races Into Round Two In Seattle

17 Nov 2015

Defending PSA Men's World Squash Champion Ramy Ashour began his bid to win back-to-back titles by swiftly despatching fellow maverick Egyptian Mazen Hesham in straight games at the Maydenbauer Centre in Bellevue, Washington.

After stunning the squash world to lift the 2014 crown in what was his first tournament following a six-month injury lay-off, the 28-year-old - who has been absent on the PSA World Tour since retiring during his second round match at the US Open in October - gave his fans reason to believe that lightening could strike twice as he got off to the perfect start.

The three-time World Champion took just 26 minutes to get past Hesham, one of the most dangerous attacking talents on tour, and showed no signs of suffering any issues with his notoriously troublesome hamstring as he set up a second round encounter with compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar.

"I'm happy with the way I played today," said Ashour. "I just need to try and play like that for the rest of the week!

"I enjoyed the match today. I think he's a very good player and I think he is going to be one of the best one day. We're very similar, he does a lot of quick stuff and it's refreshing to see someone like that.

"I didn't feel any pain in the hamstring today so it's a blessing for me to be moving and lunging freely."

Elsewhere on the second day of first round action in the most prestigious tournament in squash there were impressive victories for former World Junior Champions Diego Elias and Karim El Hammamy in their maiden bouts at the senior tournament.

Egyptian El Hammamy showed impressive hunger and desire to come through a 108-minute battle with Englishman Declan James. Meanwhile 18-year-old Elias - one of only four men including Ashour to win the World Junior title twice, and the first Peruvian to compete in the event - put in one of the most impressive performances of the round to oust seasoned campaigner Adrian Grant.

"It my first time in the World Championship and I couldn't have asked for a better start," said Elias.

"It was a good match and to win 3/0 gives me a lot of confidence going into the next round. I'm very happy to be in the last 32 and I'm very excited.

"I played some of my best squash today and I've been training for this for a long time. I'm happy with how I played. He's very experienced and I knew he would be tough. I had some nerves and I knew he would have experience and he made it very tough but I'm very, very happy to win."

Number two seed Nick Matthew, the three-time World Champion from England, also made a successful start to his campaign by downing Australian number one Cameron Pilley 3/1.

World Championship image courtesy of www.squashpics.com