Follow us here for reports and reaction as the biggest tournament on the PSA World Tour – the 2016 PSA Men's World Championship – gets under way at the Wadi Degla Club in Cairo.
World Champion Gregory Gaultier kickstarts his attempts to retain his crown against Paul Coll in one of the day's standout matches, while Egyptian duo Mohamed ElShorbagy and Ramy Ashour also start their tournaments against Rex Hedrick and Todd Harrity, respectively.
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Draw: 2016 PSA Men's World Championship – First Round
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v [Q] Rex Hedrick (AUS)
Lucas Serme (FRA) v Olli Tuominen (FIN)
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) v  Cameron Pilley (AUS)
 Ali Farag (EGY) v Declan James (ENG)
James Willstrop (ENG) v [Q] Jaymie Haycocks (ENG)
Mohamed Reda (EGY) v [Q] Eain Yow Ng (MAS)
[Q] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) v  Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [Q] Nathan Lake (ENG)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [Q] Shehab Essam (EGY)
Chris Simpson (ENG) v [Q] Alister Walker (BOT)
Zahed Mohamed (EGY) v  Max Lee (HKG)
 Simon Rösner (GER) v Diego Elias (PER)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) v [Q] Karim El Hammamy (EGY)
Leo Au (HKG) v [Q] Lance Beddoes (NZL)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) v  Nick Matthew (ENG)
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) v [Q] Shawn Delierre (CAN)
Alan Clyne (SCO) v Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) v [WC] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY)
Joe Lee (ENG) v  Fares Dessouky (EGY)
 Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [Q] Mazan Gamal (EGY)
Tom Richards (ENG) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
[LL] Evan Williams (NZL) v Stephen Coppinger (RSA)
Todd Harrity (USA) v  Ramy Ashour (EGY)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v Raphael Kandra (GER)
Ben Coleman (ENG) v [Q] Joshua Masters (ENG)
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) v [Q] Youssef Soliman (EGY)
[Q] Peter Creed (WAL) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
 Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v [Q] Jens Schoor (GER)
Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) v [Q] Joel Makin (WAL)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
Paul Coll (NZL) v  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
The following matches are LIVE on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player
(All times are local GMT+2)
18:00 Gregoire Marche (FRA) v [WC] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY)
19:00  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v [Q] Rex Hedrick (AUS)
20:00 Paul Coll (NZL) v  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
21:00 Todd Harrity (USA) v  Ramy Ashour (EGY)
Farag Comes Through Against Dangerous Declan
Egyptian Ali Farag, the top ten ranked player who many consider a dark horse to go all the way in this year’s Men’s World Championsip, successful negotiated a tricky first round encounter with England’s Declan James.
The opening two games set the tone for what was to follow as the pair engaged in series after series of lengthy, full court exchanges that tested them both physically and tactically, but it was Farag that edged both – 11-9, 11-8 – to take a vital two game lead.
The third saw the match flipped around as James stepped up, attacking and hitting the corners with precision and power, to take an emphatic 11-1 game but Farag rose to the challenge and came back in the fourth to take advantage of a tiring James and secure the match, and a place in the second round where James Willstrop is likely to await.
“I’m very happy to be through,” said Farag. “I knew from the beginning when the draw came out that it was going to be a very tough encounter.
“He might be 40 in the world but he can play at top 20 calibre – he uses the angles well and is one of the smartest players on Tour. I think the first two made the difference. In the third he changed it up, started lifting the ball more and I got caught in his game. I think he got a little tired and started playing even smarter squash.
“But then in the fourth my brother and my team talked to me and told me to play straighter and try to speed up the pace and thankfully it worked.
“I have a little over 24 hours now to recover for the next round and I know against whoever I play it will be a tough match.”
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt Declan James (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 11-8, 1-11, 11-2 (45m)
Fathi Foils Pilley In First Round Upset
Karim Ali Fathi delivered the first upset of the day as the 2016 PSA Men’s World Championship got underway as he secured a huge victory over Australian Cameron Pilley – the World No.13.
Pilley was odds on favourite to come through against the No.40 but, inspired by a packed home crowd cheering him on, Fathi produced a superb performance to frustrate the Australian and take the match in four games against the 33-year-old who has been in the form of his career of recent.
The first game was nip-and-tuck as they exchanged points before Pilley went 10-9 up, and seemingly in the ascendency. But Fathi fired back, saving game ball twice before taking it 13-11. He was made to pay as Pilley put together one of the best games of recent times to demolished Fathi 11-2 in the second – with his bakckhand in particular causing Fathi a plethora of issues.
The Egyptian then returned to the tactics of the first game, restricting Pilley’s opportunities to come through another 13-11 game in the third before standing firm to withstand the onslaught and secure a hugely impressive 3-1 win.
“In that first game he was chopping me up but I just had to stick with it and make it hard for him,” said Fathi.
“I managed to just stay with him and take that first game, which was vital in the end because in the second game he was world class.
“He completely out played me and was picking me off at everything. I had no chance. And he started the third strong as well, but I had to get back to frustrating him and maybe I got into his head a little because he started making mistakes.
“I didn't want to let him back in again and I wasn't going to let it go. To beat a top 15 player in the first round of the World Championship, here in Egypt, is very special and I’m delighted to be in the second round.”
Fathi will take on Omar Abdel Meguid in the second round after the tall Egyptian beat Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller.
“I’m definitely happy to win in three, I know he’s a little bit under the weather, but I’m just glad I went through,” said Meguid.
“I feel I was a little bit more consistent, I had a game plan and I was ahead of him the entire match, which made a lot of difference because he is very dangerous when he has room on court.
“It makes it hard to focus (when a player is ill) because I had to keep the ball running.
“When you know that your opponent isn’t 100 per cent, it has a negative effect on you because you’re not thinking about it or focusing on what it is you want to do.
“I just put my head down and focused on my squash and got the win.”
Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt  Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-1: 13-11, 2-11, 13-11, 11-6 (65m)
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 11-2 (24m)
A desolate Pilley
Rodriguez Comes Through Against Mangoankar As Gawad Takes Out Lake In 5
Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez recorded his first win of the 2016/17 PSA World Tour season by defeating Indian qualifier Mahesh Mangaonkar in the first round of the 2016 PSA Men’s World Championship – coming from one-game down to secure the 3-1 win and end a three-month losing streak.
Rodriguez crashed out at the first hurdle at the Hong Kong Open, China Open, NetSuite Open and US Open and looked like he could be facing another first round exit as he slumped to a 4-11 loss in the first game.
But the ‘Colombian Cannonball’ managed to turn the match around to take the next three games in succession and complete a turn-around win that sees him finally secure a W beside his name.
“It hasn’t been the season that I wanted – I’ve had a few tough months,” said Rodriguez.
“But I can’t give up – this is a special tournament, the most important of the year. It’s not easy because everyone is at a high level and very competitive so I couldn’t take it for granted at all – but I just told myself to relax and enjoy the game.
“You have to adapt on these courts. I lost the first game and gave away too many mistakes. I had to adapt and I tried to make it longer and tire him out – that’s one of my strong points and in the third and fourth my accuracy was much better, so it’s very pleasing to win.
“Every match is different here and you are having to adapt to it all but I’m just looking forward to the next round. I’ll be back on the glass and that gives me extra motivation.”
Karim Abdel Gawad meanwhile secured his place in the second round courtesy of a monumental comeback that saw him come from 0-2 down to inspired English qualifier Nathan Lake.
Having never previously reached the main draw of the prestigious tournament Lake played like a World Championship veteran as he controlled the court, mixing patience with deadly accuracy to go 2-0 up against the World No.4. But a tense third game went the way of Gawad and from then on he powered on, using his experience on the big stage to his advantage to complete the win and escape a shock exit.
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [Q] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 3-1: 4-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-3 (53m)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [Q] Nathan Lake (ENG) 3-2: 9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-6 (63m)
England’s Simpson Reaches Second Round of Men’s World Championship
World No.21 Chris Simpson overcame Botswana’s former World No.12 Alister Walker at the Wadi Degla Club in Cairo, Egypt to reach the second round of the PSA Men’s World Championship for the first time in four years.
Simpson, who hails from Guernsey, was unstoppable in the opening game as he raced to an 11-2 victory, but he was reigned in by a resurgent Walker in the second, only just closing it out on a tense tie-break after saving four game balls to double his advantage.
There was little between the two in the third with the duo trading point-for-point in a succession of rapid rallies as they fought for supremacy, before a loose shot from Walker with Simpson holding a match ball handed the match to the latter, sending the Englishman into the second round for the first time in four years.
“It’s the biggest tournament in the world, I made my big breakthrough in 2012 and since then it’s been a really disappointing tournament for me,” said Simpson, who will face Hong Kong’s Max Lee in the next round.
“I’m really happy to get through to the second round, Alister’s a training partner of mine from when I first turned pro and I’ve never beaten him, so I’m really, really happy.
“I think the biggest thing in the second and third games was Alister’s level. I felt like he wasn’t up to the pace in the first game, but I knew he would improve in the second and play better. I was very lucky to win that game as I saved four game balls.
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [Q] Alister Walker (BOT) 3-0: 11-2, 13-11, 11-9 (42m)
Rösner Romps Past Elias
German Simon Rösner powered into the second round of the 2016 PSA Men’s World Championship after successfully negotiating a potentially tricky encounter with Peruvian Diego Elias to come through in straight games.
Elias reached the semi-finals of the NetSuite Open last month and came into the tournament with form on his side, but it was Rösner who dominated proceedings, totally controlling the court and not allowing Elias any opportunity to attack.
While the Peruvian former World Junior champion managed to make a strong fist of a fightback in the first, Rösner took it 11-9 and from then on was in cruise control bar a period in the third when, at 10-3 up, he took his foot of the gas.
“I’m very happy to win that in three today but I’m also a bit annoyed with how I let him back into the third,” said Rösner.
“I won, which in the end which is the most important thing. But it wasn’t easy. Even at 10-3 up in the third game you have to work hard. You can't expect to win just like that. You have to be mentally prepared to go all the way and win each the rally – not wait for a gift or a mistake.
“So I’m annoyed with that, but happy to win in three and in a short time – this is a long event and you need to get rid of opponent as quick as you can in the early stages.
“Diego had some good results of late but I managed to deny him his rhythm.”
Rösner will take on Mexico’s Cesar Salazar in round two after the World No.27 recovered from a game down to defeat Egyptian qualifier Karim El Hammamy.
 Simon Rösner (GER) bt Diego Elias (PER) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 11-8 (33m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt [Q] Karim El Hammamy (EGY) 3-1: 10-12, 13-11, 11-4, 11-3 (60m)
Willstrop Breaks Down Haycocks Resistance
Former World No.1 James Willstrop came through a testing first round encounter with compatriot Jaymie Haycocks to advance beyond the opening round for the ninth time in succession.
The duo were neck and neck for much of the early stages, with Willstrop edging ahead in game one, only to see Haycocks wipe out his advantage after some good retrieval work from the Birmingham-based 32-year-old.
Willstrop responded though by stepping up the court and rattled off a series of devastating drives to shift the momentum back in his favour, dropping just a handful of points in game three to restore his lead.
Haycocks increased the tempo in the fourth to move Willstrop into all four corners of the court and draw level, but ‘The Marksman’ increased the accuracy of his shots in the decider to wrap up an 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-4 triumph to move through to the next round – setting up a clash with World No.6 Ali Farag for a place in round three.
“Jaymie played well, he had no worries in the world, no pressure, he just played his squash and made it very hard for me,” said Willstrop.
“I’m very happy to be able to compete still, and truly happy to win.”
James Willstrop (ENG) bt [Q] Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) 3-0: 3-2: 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-4 (67m)
Double Delight For Hong Kong Duo
Max Lee and Leo Au made it a delightful double for Hong Kong squash as they came through their first round encounters at the 2016 World Championships and move into the second round of squash’s most iconic tournament.
It was Lee, the man who went all the way to the semi-finals in August’s Hong Kong Open in what was the tournament of his career, who secured the first victory courtesy of a hard-fought for game triumph over local player Zahed Mohamed, the powerfully built World No.25.
After opening up a 6-0 lead Lee had to fend off a surge of momentum as Mohamed roared back into the first game, with a series of errors allowing the Hong Kong man a respite which he utilised to take it 11-9 and move one game up. Mohamed continued to attack at pace to level the scoreline but Lee can back, reverting to a more patient style to thwart the Egyptian and take a well earned win.
“Of course I’m happy to have won,” said Lee, the Hong Kong number one.
“Zahed is strong and steady – he’s accurate and he hits amazing winners too, especially in Egypt. I was struggling with the conditions and the bounce on the court so I just tried to stay in the rallies as much as possible.
“In the first game I went 6-0 up and he came back but he made a few errors which allowed me to take it. He fought back strong in the second but I managed to get back on track after that and I’m happy to win it in four. I thought it was a good match and I played ok.
“Hopefully I can come back tomorrow and play a little better.”
Au meanwhile enjoyed straightforward passage into the second round as he swept past New Zealand’s Lance Beddoes, taking just 28-minutes to dispatch the qualifier.
“It's a good start for me, I'm very happy to win and I'm looking forward to the next match,” said Au, who will take on three-time World Champion Nick Matthew in the second round.
“I'm just going to try to focus on the next match, I didn't want to waste my energy too much today and hopefully I can play better in the next match.
“I think I just need to stay relaxed and play my best in the next match.”
 Max Lee (HKG) bt Zahed Mohamed (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-3 (50m)
Leo Au (HKG) bt [Q] Lance Beddoes (NZL) 3-0: 11-4, 11-4, 11-5 (28m)
Matthew Overcomes Grayson Challenge
Three-time World Champion Nick Matthew successfully negotiated his way through a tough opening encounter at the 2016 PSA Men’s World Championships, fending off a competitive Campbell Grayson in four games to set up a second round encounter with Hong Kong’s Leo Au.
Grayson came into the tournament in form having won the Chicago Open last week while Matthew had question marks looming over his fitness after his body let him down in the final of last week’s US Open, but the 36-year-old, competing in his 16th World Championship, showed he still has the fight and desire to win as he battled through in just under an hour to secure the victory.
Playing on the side courts, somewhat foreign ground for a man used to occupying centre stage on the all-glass show courts, Matthew began strongly to take the opening game but he was dragged into a real battle as Grayson upped his game and played with increased accuracy to level the match.
But it was the experienced head of Matthew that came back in the third to gain the advantage and he held firm to withstand a charge in the fourth, sealing the match at the second time of asking.
“I’m very relived that didn’t go to five,” said Matthew.
“He played very well – I was impressed with him. I knew he’d be confident after winning in Chicago last week. He started a bit slow but came back very strong in the second game.
‘I was aware that these courts have been a bit of a seeds graveyard so far with some names falling – and even the guys that got through had to work very hard for it.
“I started maybe too well and he was slow to react and I was thinking “this is easy” and then all of a sudden I was in a battle. I had to dig it out there in the fourth and I’m really happy it didn’t go to five.
“I’ve never been as excited to get on a glass court in my life because these traditional courts are hard work – which you can see from some of the results today.
“I’m very happy to survive – I’ve negotiated this one and they’re all on the glass from now on so I’m looking forward to it.”
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-1: 11-7, 6-11, 11-4, 13-11 (57m)
Castagnet Beats Local Hero Gamal
Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet ended the run of local hero Mazen Gamal, the Wadi Degla based player who downed Aqeel Rehman to reach the first round, to move into the second round of the World Championships and deny the home crowd what would have been a heroic win.
Castagnet has endured a difficult period with injury of late, failing to capitalise on his early 2016 form this season due to constant battles with groin and hamstring issues, but he looked to be moving with restriction as he came through in four games, with a lapse of concentration in the third the only blemish on what was an otherwise solid performance.
“I'm pleased to come through,” said Castagnet.
“He's at his home club – he's confident. It’s the first time he's had chance to play in front of his home crowd so he was motivated and it wasn’t easy.
“I have been injured for a while and not played a lot of matches which meant I lost some confidence. I wasn't focused at the start of the third and that was so important to learn. That you have to finish the rallies and finish the match balls.
“So I'm happy. I’m moving well and I’m enjoying being here and I'll give my best for my country and give my best against Daryl in two days. That was a good match to get me into it – you can be flat at times in the first round so that has shaken off the cobwebs.”
 Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [Q] Mazan Gamal (EGY) 3-1: 11-6, 11-3, 6-11, 11-7 (55m)
Marwan ElShorbagy Books Second Round Berth
Egyptian World No.7 Marwan ElShorbagy sealed his place in the second round on home soil after a determined display against Germany’s Raphael Kandra.
ElShorbagy, the younger brother of World No.1 Mohamed, shot out of traps into a 4-1 lead in the opener, but a resurgent Kandra rallied and fought back to force a tie-break, with only a couple of unforced errors being the difference between the pair as ElShorbagy pushed through to a narrow one-game lead.
From there, ElShorbagy produced a devastating attacking display to move Kandra away from the ’T, with his intelligent courtcraft and tactical awareness coming to the fore as he powered through to a 12-10, 11-6, 11-1 triumph in 35 minutes.
“The first match of the tournament is never easy, especially when you play someone like Raphael,” said ElShorbagy.
“I've not played him before, he's quite talented and he's left handed as well, which makes it trickier for me. He played well and neither of us found our game, especially because we were playing on a traditional court rather than a glass court.
“I'm happy with the way I played, I got better as the match went on and I'm happy that I finished it in three games as well as it gives me a lot of confidence with my game.
“It will be great to play on the glass court, I haven't played in Egypt since April, I couldn't play at the Pyramids, so i'm looking forward to playing in Egypt in front of my home crowd.
“I live in England and I don't get the chance to train in Egypt that much, so it's a great opportunity for me to play in Egypt.”
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Raphael Kandra (GER) 3-0: 12-10, 11-6, 11-1 (35m)
Marche Fights Back to Halt Wildcard Ibrahim
French World No.26 Gregoire Marche emerged unscathed from a topsy turvy encounter against tournament wildcard Youssef Ibrahim to emerge victorious in the opening match on the glass court.
Ibrahim, the 17-year-old World No.410, was backed on by a vociferous home crowd and showed no nerves whatsoever as he put in a display that belied his World Ranking to take a shock lead on the first game tie-break.
The teenager’s superiority continued into the second game as he surged into a 4-1 lead, but his inexperience showed as a succession of unforced errors let Marche back into the clash and the Frenchman took 10 of the next 13 points to draw level.
Marche’s upturn in form saw him begin to control his drives with more accuracy, and he edged a crucial third game 12-10, before going on to dominate the fourth for the loss of just four points to secure the win.
“Mentally, I’m happy with the way I played because I felt a bit stressed in the first two or three games and I couldn’t relax,” said Marche.
“The first match is never easy, so I’m happy to get back into the match. I felt stressed because it was the first match and the condition of the court was tough to get the right feeling on.
“But I feel good, I feel happy with my game and I had a good win at the beginning of the season [at the Open International de Squash de Nantes].”
Marche will take on Egypt’s Fares Dessouky for a place in the third round after he stormed to a 3-0 win over England’s Joe Lee – and Dessouky believes he may hold an edge after beginning his tournament on the traditional court, which is where their second round match will be held.
Dessouky said: “I feel like I’m playing really well, I feel much better than the last tournament, the U.S. Open.
“Today I was going for many shots, and luckily all of them came to me. It was a tough match actually, it was a fitness test for me as well, but I managed to win in three.
“I was trying to save energy and, at the same time, to finish the game in three, so I’m happy to do that today.
“Tactically, I tried not to volley too much, I tried to volley the right shots and keep my shots to the back of the court and control the pace.
“I’ve played today on a traditional court, but [Marche] played on a glass court, so I think this is a good thing for me.”
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt [WC] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) 3-1: 11-13, 11-7, 12-10, 11-4 (50m)
 Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Joe Lee (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-2 (31m)
Schoor Stuns Cuskelly
German Jens Schoor, competing in the main draw of the World Championship for the first time in his career, pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the first round as he defeated Australian Ryan Cuskelly 3-1 to secure a second round berth.
In three previous appearances at the World Championship the German World No.61 had never progressed past the qualification stages but, after coming through a close fought five-game battle with James Huang to reach this first round, he pulled out a performance of real note to get past Cuskelly – a semi-finalist at August’s Hong Kong Open – in four games.
“I’m very, very happy – I think that’s my best win, certainly rankings wise, of my career and it couldn’t happen at a better tournament,” said Schoor.
“This is the first time I’ve qualified for the main draw of the World Championships so to go to the second round is great. I feel very happy with how I played today.
“I always go out there to give it my best and I felt good today. I was struggling a bit last week but I feel like I recovered well and I was back at 100 per cent today. I’ll hopefully keep up the kind of level I played at today and if i do then I’ll give myself a good chance of going even further.”
[Q] Jens Schoor (GER) bt  Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-1: 11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9 (53m)
ElShorbagy Takes Out Hedrick to Kick Off Title Charge
World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy got his World Championship campaign off to a winning start after coming through a stern test against Australian qualifier Rex Hedrick on the opening day of acton.
The hard-hitting Egyptian, twice a runner-up in 2012 and 2014, injected pace into proceedings from the outset which World No.58 Hedrick was unable to live with as ElShorbagy went a game to the good, dropping just five points in the process.
What a touch from
MoElshorbagy</a>!!! It was that good it rolled right back to him!<a href="https://t.co/Vk0SdsDuWE">pic.twitter.com/Vk0SdsDuWE</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) October 27, 2016
A dogged Hedrick responded though and pushed the Bristol-based 25-year-old all the way to a tie-break, but ElShorbagy drew on his energy reserves to push through by the narrowest of margins, before just having the upper hand in the third to close out an 11-5, 12-10, 11-9 victory – setting up a second round fixture with Finland’s Olli Tuominen.
“I'm really happy to win, I'm not the best first round player, I always struggle a little bit but I felt fresh today,” said ElShorbagy.
“He coped with the atmosphere pretty well, I understand it's a bit tough playing me in Egypt and in the first round of the World Championship it was tough for him.
“He surprised me in the second game and even in the third game he came back and nearly won the game.
“If you know you're living for another day you are happy. I woke up today and found so many shocking results.
“That's what happens in the World Championship, anything can happen, and I'm just glad that I'm here for another day.”
Tuominen, meanwhile, produced a fine performance to take out Frenchman Lucas Serme in his first round encounter and the 37-year-old said that he will be giving it his all as he looks to cause a major upset.
“I've played quite a few matches against him [ElShorbagy], I've also done well in the past, but I don't think it's that fun to play him compared to some other players,” said the experienced campaigner.
“I will definitely do my best, push as hard as I can and I'll see how it goes.”
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [Q] Rex Hedrick (AUS) 3-0: 11-5, 12-10, 11-9 (40m)
Olli Tuominen (FIN) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-8 (46m)
Defending Champ Gaultier Advances into Round Two
Reigning World Champion Gregory Gaultier got his title defence off to a perfect start after a composed display from the Frenchman saw him down New Zealand’s Paul Coll to seal a second round spot.
The duo had met as recently as two weeks ago, with Gaultier winning that fixture at the Delaware Investments U.S. Open, and it was the ‘French General’ who seized the initiative in the early stages as he adopted a patient approach to move Coll around the court.
Rapid fire exchanges between Gaultier and
PaulColl199</a> on show!! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/swift?src=hash">#swift</a> <a href="https://t.co/NcWbKvggVB">pic.twitter.com/NcWbKvggVB</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) October 27, 2016
After a fairly one-sided opener, Coll began to feel his way into the encounter and the pair played out a number of exciting, high-octane rallies, with a second game tie-break going narrowly in Gaultier’s favour.
Coll began to use more height in the third game in an attempt to move his opponent into the back of the court and the approach paid off as he built on an early lead to halve the deficit.
But the ‘French General’ fended off a robust challenge from Coll in the fourth and final game – despite having a conduct stroke given against him after hitting Coll with an errant cross court shot – to push the win over the line by an 11-6, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8 margin.
“I was leading quite easily in the first game and finding the rhythm and then I was ahead by five or six points in the second before I started to lose it,” said Gaultier, who will take on Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal in the next round.
“I started to play a little relaxed and I completely lost it. He was going short, he was volleying a lot and was aggressive on every ball.
“I just did what I could today, it’s one match, sometimes you have to eat your black bread on a match like this and hope to raise your game.
“Sometimes it’s good to have a longer and tougher match in the first round because I can open up my chest and spend some time on the court.”
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Paul Coll (NZL) 3-1: 11-6, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8 (79m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 11-7, 11-13, 11-9, 12-10 (66m)
Ashour Moves Past Harrity in Straight Games
Egyptian maverick Ramy Ashour came up with a dominant display to see off United States No.1 Todd Harrity and kickstart his attempts to claim a fourth World Championship crown at the 2016 edition of the sport’s pinnacle tournament.
The 29-year-old was last seen limping off court on home soil at the Al Ahram Squash Open NEWGIZA after suffering a calf injury during his quarter-final clash with compatriot Ali Farag, and was sporting a full length calf support as he struggled slightly with his movement throughout.
But he still had enough in the tank to control the match against Harrity, and he stormed to an 11-3, 11-5, 11-4 victory to ensure that he will go head-to-head with South Africa’s Stephen Coppinger in round two.
Rapid fire exchanges between Gaultier and
PaulColl199</a> on show!! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/swift?src=hash">#swift</a> <a href="https://t.co/NcWbKvggVB">pic.twitter.com/NcWbKvggVB</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) October 27, 2016
“Every time I try to get up and get excited and think that I can win the tournament, something comes and slaps me in the face,” said Ashour referring to the injuries that have ravaged the past two years of his glittering career.
“I know that, eventually, if things go well and I keep playing for a little bit more, I’ll get back to where I was because I am a human being. I’m going to get this excitement and temptation in my blood.
“I was surprised that he hit so many tins today, he hit about five or six tins, so it was interesting. I know he plays fast so I had to up the pace, he lunges and then he gets back up in an elastic way.
“He plays very well with his body, he holds the ball very well and he plays with his body. I was watching his body more than I was watching his hands, but he still deceived me.”
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-5, 11-4 (30m)
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) bt [LL] Evan Williams (NZL) 3-0: 13-11, 11-3, 11-7 (34m)