Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Ashour Has a Scare as Title Defence Starts

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Ashour Has a Scare as Title Defence Starts

Article excerpt

SQUASH Ramy Ashour suffered an opening match scare before making a winning start to the defence of his AJ Bell World Championship crown in Manchester last night, writes TREVOR BAXTER.

But there were few alarms for top British hopes, James Willstrop and Nick Matthew, as they joined their Egyptian rival in the last 32 of the Pounds 325,000 tournament.

Ashour, absent from the recent US Open in Philadelphia, looked rusty as he dropped the first set to unseeded but dangerous Dutchman, Laurens Jan Anjema.

Indeed, Anjema threatened the unthinkable as he matched Ashour stroke for stroke in the second set.

Eventually, the world number one and the world champion found his range to take the set 13-11 before running away the next two, 11-3, 11-4. "LJ played very well, it's always like that, all the players play very well against me," said Ashour.

"I didn't have a player playing badly against me for about three years!

"They all play their best squash against me, it's kind of hard for me, but on another hand, it motivates me. …

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