Sports: Squash: Aamir falls at the first hurdle in Manchester

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Send to friend: 

Karachi, September 21, 2011 (PPI): Pakistani interest in the high-profile tournament -PSA World Series ROWE British Grand Prix extinguished in the very first round after Pakistan No 1 Aamir Atlas Khan lost his match to Australian Cameron Pilley in the event underway at National Squash Centre in Manchester.

The ROWE British Grand Prix - Manchester 2011, the fourth of nine PSA World Series championships in 2011 - and the biggest squash event to be staged in the UK this year - has attracted a star-studded field featuring 16 of the world's top 20 players, including six former world number ones. Ranked 11 places higher than his Peshawar-based first round opponent, Cameron Pilley took only 31 minutes to dispatch World 28 Aamir Atlas registering a formidable 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 triumph.

The world No17 from New South Wales, was delighted to overpower Aamir especially considering the fact that the Aamir had defeated him in recent past in Malaysia.

"Aamir beat me the last time we played - and I was so keen to play him again. I wanted to play a bit steadier - and bring a bit more structure to my game. In Malaysia, he had a lot of Pakistani support, and that helped him. But I knew he was on his own here," Cameron Pilley said after the match.

Meanwhile, Aamir said that Cameron played well and he won the match. “It was his day, and winning and losing is a part and parcel of a game. I am now looking forward for future events,” he said. Aamir Atlas was the only Pakistani player, who participated in the event.

Meanwhile, Egyptians dominated the day as Cairo-based qualifier Tarek Momen produced the only upset when he ousted world No21 Alister Walker 11-8, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6. Walker, a former England international who used to train at the centre, was making his first appearance in Manchester since switching allegiance to his country of birth, Botswana.

"It was really important for me to win today - I haven't had a good result for five months now," said 23-year-old Momen, a recent Electronic Engineering graduate from the American University in Cairo. Momen's victory was followed by Cairo colleague Omar Mosaad's 14-12, 8-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-9 win over Englishman Jonathan Kemp.

Despite being ranked higher than Kemp, world No14 Mosaad was enjoying his first win over the left-hander from Halifax after three defeats since 2005. "I had the advantage today - all the previous times he was ranked higher than me," explained the tall 23-year-old. "Most of the people I practise with are right-handed, so I find it more difficult playing left-handers. This was an important win for me - it will be good for my ranking. I hope to be in the top 10 this year," concluded Mosaad.

Egypt's Karim Darwish, a runner-up on the court in the 2008 World Open, also claimed his place in the last 16 round. But the third seed had to fight back from a game down to overcome experienced Australian Stewart Boswell, a former world No4, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8. And title-holder Ramy Ashour became the fourth Egyptian to progress after despatching English qualifier Chris Ryder 11-8, 11-3, 11-7.

A pair of Frenchmen secured places in the second round after commanding victories: Eighth seed Thierry Lincou crushed Egyptian qualifier Marwan El Shorbagy, the recently-crowned world junior champion, 11-6, 11-3, 11-7 in just 27 minutes, while sixth seed Gregory Gaultier defeated top-ranked Indian Saurav Ghosal 11-4, 11-5, 11-2.