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Elshorbagy in control

toc update: defending champion eases through first test

J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions title-holder Mohamed Elshorbagy began his bid to retain the prestigious PSA World Series tournament crown with a comfortable straight-games victory over England’s Adrian Waller.

After winning December’s Hong Kong Open in emphatic fashion Elshorbagy, who regained the World No.1 spot on January 1, picked up from where he left off in the first tournament of 2016 as he controlled proceedings to get past the World No.33 in just 30-minutes.

The Egyptian’s trademark all-action style has been almost unmatched on the PSA World Tour over the past year but the 24-year-old showed that he can be equally as effective when playing with pace-variation and deception as he mixed up his pace, length and control to thoroughly outclass Waller. A blip of concentration in the second game, when he slipped to a 3-7 deficit before reeling off five consecutive points to re-establish his authority, marred what was otherwise a performance of total control and one that highlights his credentials as the man to beat this week.

“Adrian is a good player and we have had some very tough matches in the past so I knew I had to play well today and I’m happy I was able to do that,” said Elshorbagy.

“I tried to mix the pace and to get off in three games and have a rest day as well will help keep me fresh for the tournament. I love playing here, it is my favourite event on tour.

“I started 2015 in great form here by winning this trophy so I’m hoping to start 2016 in the same fashion and look forward to playing in front of the fantastic crowd here in New York once again in two days time.”

[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [Q] Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-2 (30m)

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