World number one Mohamed Elshorbagy began his 2015 Professional Squash Association (PSA) Men’s World Championship campaign with a straightforward victory over Mexico’s Alfredo Avila in Bellevue in the United States.
The Egyptian, aiming to underline his billing as the top seed on the opening day of competition, is seekting his first world title having gone close on two occasions, finishing runner-up in both 2012 and 2014.
Elshorbagy started his tie with Avila in fine style, claiming the opening game 11-4.
His Mexican opponent improved in the final two games of the contest, but was unable to prevent Elshorbagy triumphing 11-4, 11-9, 11-7.
“If I don’t get it this year I still have so many years to come but of course I really want to win this one,” Elshorbagy, a 24-year-old from Alexandria, claimed.
“Losing last year was tough but everything has made me the player I am today.
"I struggled a little bit after last year but I was able to come back and win the Tournament of Champions and the British Open.
“It was a test of character and to get back here the year after is tough, there are bad memories, but I’m trying to put that behind me now.
“It’s the first time ever that the World Championship is here in the United States, the tournament has been set up perfectly for the players and I’m really looking forward to playing well here this week.”
Home interest took an early blow after Julian Illingworth was unable to reach the second round, the American falling to a 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 defeat against Colombia's Pan American Games gold medallist Miguel Angel Rodriguez.
His exit leaves Todd Harrity as the sole American in the competition after he battled through a five-game battle against Scotland’s Alan Clyne in one of the closest fought first round ties.
Harrity held the lead on two occasions but both times was pegged back by Clyne.
The American dominated the deciding game, however, to emerge the 11-8, 2-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-3 winner after over an hour’s play.
In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, the all-French tie between Gregory Gaultier and Lucas Serme was a poignant affair, with the former winning 11-9, 11-7, 11-4.
The world number three believes he has added motivation to secure his first world title, having finished as the runner-up on four occasions, following the attacks.
“What happened in France has been really hurting everybody,” Gauliter said.
“You think about it every day and you see the news, I will do all I can to win the title this year.”
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