Egypt's Ramy Ashour leads three of his countrymen into the second round of their home tournament El Gouna International Open on Monday. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: It was an Egyptian march with world world No. 4 Ramy Ashour leading the way on home soil in the El Gouna International Open on Monday.
The 26-year-old Ramy, who has had his share of injuries since last year, was back at his best as he led four other Egyptians into the second round.
Ramy, who is arguably one of the best players in the world, proved too strong for veteran Olli Tuominen of Finland, winning 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 in 37 minutes.
“It’s always difficult to play anybody in the first round and I had to push hard mentally because Olli is such an experienced player and can string points,” said Ramy.
“I think he played very well, with a lot of deceptive shots and I’m so happy to get through in three sets.”
Ramy will go on to meet Germany’s Simon Rosner, who saw off the challenge of Frenchman Gregoire Marche 11-7, 11-6, 11-8, for a place in the quarter-finals.
Joining Ramy in the second round are compatriots Karim Darwish (world No. 9), four-time world champion Amr Shabana, world No. 12 Tarek Momen and world No. 13 Omar Mosaad.
Tarek, who won the Malaysian Open in 2012, was the only one who was pushed to five sets as reigning world junior runner-up Fares Dessouki, also of Egypt, gave him a brilliant fight.
But the speedy Tarek prevailed for an 11-9, 13-11, 9-11, 7-11, 11-5 win to set up a clash with Amr.