Resurgent Ramy Progresses In Windy City Open

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Egyptian World No.4 Ramy Ashour fought from 1-0 down to record a 3-1 win against Australian Cameron Pilley during the opening round of the 2014 METROsquash Windy City Open in Chicago today.

The former World No.1 was returning to World Series action for the first time since the 2013 Hong Kong Open in December, when injury ended his tournament prematurely, and quickly found himself down against Pilley before showing his class to come through 8-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-3.

The maverick from Cairo (pictured above in first round action with Pilley) displayed some magical touches on court while showing no signs of ill effects from his recent injury-plagued run.

"Cameron is a great player who really pushes you to be at your best and he's a very big hitter as well," said Ashour.

"He came out firing today and won the first game and I had to work hard to try and contain him and I'm glad I managed to do that and come through the match.

"I have a day off now and I need to make sure I look after my body. My recovery has been going steady so far and for me it's now a matter of working on my mental organisation.

"I need to work on organising my routine, what I'm eating and how I am on court and hopefully it will continue steadily."

After winning the opening PSA World Series event of 2014, January's J.P Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York, Egyptian Amr Shabana began his Windy City Open title bid in impressive fashion.

The World No.9 dispatched English qualifier Adrian Waller 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 in just 35 minutes to book his place in the second round where he will face England's James Willstrop.

"Any time you win a match you are happy," said Shabana.

"In the first round you never really know what will happen so I was just pleased to come through.

"I had a good run in New York to win the TOC but you try not to think about things like that. I'm just happy to be injury free at the moment and hopefully I can take the momentum forward and I'll just take the rest of the tournament match by match."

Elsewhere English trio Nick Matthew, James Willstrop and Peter Barker eased into the second round recording 3-0 victories while LJ Anjema and Mathieu Castagnet also dispatched their opponents 3-0. 

2014 Windy City Open: Round One, Top Half Results:

[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [Q] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-0: 11-6, 12-10, 11-9 [56 mins]

[3] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-1: 8-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-3 [43 mins]

[5] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [Q] Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-4 [41 mins]

[8] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [Q] Christopher Gordon (USA) 3-0: 11-9,11-5,11-6 [47 mins]

Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Alister Walker (BOT) 3-0: 12-10,11-6,11-9 [57 mins]

Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt [Q] Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 3-0: 11-4,11-6,11-4 [31 mins]

Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [Q] Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 [35 mins]

Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-1: 5-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-3 [48 mins]