Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (left) and James Willstrop in a file photo. Willstrop proved too strong for Nafiizwan in the Windy City Open. Willstrop won 11-4, 11-7, 11-4.
PETALING JAYA: National No. 2 Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan’s challenge at the Windy City Open in Chicago fizzled out after being outclassed by world No. 5 James Willstrop in the first round.
The 27-year-old Nafiizwan, who did well to earn a place in the main draw of the US$115,000 (RM377,000) tournament from the qualifiers, found Willstrop too strong and went down 4-11, 7-11, 4-11 on Wednesday.
The Englishman will the evergreen Amr Shabana in the second round after the 34-year-old Cairo native notched an 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 win over English qualifier Adrian Waller.
Meanwhile, fit-again former world No. 1 Ramy Ashour of Egypt enjoyed a winning start as well.
The 26-year-old Ramy, who has been plagued by a series of injuries since the Men’s World Championship last November before making a comeback at the Swedish Open this month, battled from a set down to beat Australia’s Cameron Pilley 8-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-3.
“Cameron is a great player who really pushes you to be at your best and he’s a very big hitter as well,” said Ramy.
“He came out firing today and won the first game. I had to work hard to try and contain him and I’m glad I managed to do that and come through.
“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 ... for me it’s now a matter of working on my mental organisation.”
Reigning world champion Nick Matthew of England also enjoyed a solid start, beating Aussie qualifier Ryan Cuskelly 11-6, 12-10, 11-9.