By NATHAN CLARKE
‘Colombian Cannonball’ Miguel Angel Rodriguez, the World No.5, says he cannot wait to compete in the PSA Dubai World Series Finals for the first time in his career when the season-ending tournament gets under way on May 24.
Taking place in front of the Burj Khalifa the World Series Finals brings the top eight players on the Road To Dubai Standings together and Rodriguez, who will be the first South American ever to compete in the lucrative tournament, believes the spectacular location adds further excitement to what is one of the best tournaments on the professional circuit.
“The location of the court in front of the Burj Khalifa is breathtaking and I think, after the Pyramids, it will be the best tournament ever,” said Rodriguez.
“It’s a great accomplishment for me to be the first South American to compete at that event and I’m going to train hard for the next two weeks in preparation for a big push to end the season.
“Playing in Dubai is like a dream come true. I used to watch the World Series Finals and dream about playing in it so to be in the top eight and compete is something I’m very happy about.”
After breaking through into the top 10 for the first time in his career in January 2015 the 30-year-old suffered from a poor run of results at the start of the season but turned his form around with semi-final finishes at the Windy City Open and El Gouna International to qualify in fifth place.
He will now face World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy, World No.3 Nick Matthew and World No.6 Mathieu Castagnet in the best-of-three group stages in what promises to be an electric five-day event.
“Qualifying for this tournament is the result of a lot of discipline and hard work over the past few years, not just this season,” he said.
“With it being the first World Series Finals for a few years I really wanted to play this one. It was the focus for my season – I didn’t play many other tournaments because my goal was to get the points I needed from the World Series tournaments to qualify.
“Now I’m very excited. I think it is going to be a great week and I’m looking forward to being there. I’m going to bring my friends and family over and hopefully I will play well.”
About the PSA Dubai World Series Finals
The PSA Dubai World Series Finals is the season-ending climax to the both the men’s and women’s PSA World Series tours, featuring only the world’s best eight qualified players as they battle it out for the last title of the season.
Players compete for ‘Road To Dubai’ Ranking points at each PSA World Series Tournament in a bid to earn one of the coveted eight berths and a chance to compete in one of the sport’s most lucrative events.
The PSA Dubai World Series Finals brings eight players together in two groups of four, with players playing a round-robin best-of-three series for place in the knockout semi-finals and beyond.
Tickets for the 2015/16 PSA Dubai World Series Finals are available to purchase now by visiting Ticketmaster: https://www.ticketmasteruae.ae/etkinlik-grup/699890/ALL/en
Action pictures by PATRICK LAUSON. Dubai image and graphic courtesy of PSA