Pakistan’s number one squash player Aamir Atlas crashed out of the Tournament of Champions, losing his opening encounter 3-1 to Egypt’s Mohamed El Shorbagy in New York.
Seventh-seed Shorbagy, dispatched the unseeded Pakistani in 41 minutes to cruise into the second round with a 11-4, 10-12, 11-7, 11-5 win.
“It’s a disappointing start to the year,” Atlas told The Express Tribune. “I really thought I could start off on a winning note. But this tournament features the world’s best players and I’m honoured to be a part of it. I also had a tough draw.”
While Atlas failed in the main event’s opening round, Pakistan number three Yasir Butt also met with disappointment as he lost to South Africa’s Stephen Coppinger 12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 12-10 in the qualifiers. Arshad Iqbal Burki also faced an early exit after going down to Frenchman Gregoire Marche 11-3, 11-6, 11-4.
In other matches, top-seed England’s Nick Matthew defeated Egypt’s Wael El Hindi 3-1, while James Willstrop beat Australia’s Zac Alexander 3-0.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd, 2012.