Windy City Open: Harrogate’s Chris Simpson crashes out after fierce battle with Miguel Rodriguez

Harrogate-based Chris Simpson, background, during his first round duel with Miguel Angel Rodriguez. Picture: squashpics.com
Harrogate-based Chris Simpson, background, during his first round duel with Miguel Angel Rodriguez. Picture: squashpics.com
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Harrogate’s Chris Simpson crashed out of the Windy City Open at the first hurdle after being out-gunned by No 4 seed Miguel Angel Rodriguez.

The world No 24, kept his higher-ranked opponent on court for over 70 minutes before finally succumbing to a 11-4, 6-11, 11-8, 12-10 defeat.

“That was a very tough match,” said Colombian Rodriguez afterwards. “I have played a lot of times with Chris and I know how tough he is so I think I played well in first game. But from then on it just got tougher and tougher.”

Elsewhere, Mohamed Abouelghar, Max Lee, Marwan ElShorbagy, Tom Richards and World No 9 Karim Abdel Gawad and Rodriguez in securing hard fought opening round victories, while World No 1 Mohamed Elshorbagy secured his passage to the second round with a more straightforward 3-0 win over Scotland’s Alan Clyne.

In the women’s draw, the top seeds enjoyed a similarly straightforward start with world No 1 Laura Massaro and world No 2 Nicol David coming through their first round matches courtesy of impressive 3-0 wins, as did world No4 Nour El Sherbini.

For Massaro, competing as the top seed in a PSA World Series tournament for the first time, a return to form is an opportunity to re-assert her credentials as the sport’s top player, after suffering a disappointing quarter-finals exit during January’s JP Morgan Tournament of Champions.

“Coming into a World Series tournament as the top seed is a very nice feeling and this is the first time that I’ve ever experienced that, so I’m excited to hopefully do well here,” said Massaro.

“I won this event two years ago so I’ll be doing everything I can this week to try and replicas that.”

Yorkshire’s Nick Matthew, James Willstrop and Jenny Duncalf all open their bids for glory at the University Club of Chicago on Friday night.