Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Cuskelly and Lee reach last eight in Qatar

Ryan Cuskelly in ac
Ryan Cuskelly in action against Chris Simpson

Belief is the key as Cuskelly continues amazing run


Australian Ryan Cuskelly and Hong Kong’s Max Lee will compete in the quarter-finals of a PSA World Series tournamnet for the first time in their careers after coming through their second round encounters at the 2015 Qatar Classic at the Khalifa Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha today (Nov 2).

Just one week after collecting the biggest PSA World Tour title of his career at the Welaptega Bluenose Classic, and in the midst of his best-ever form, Cuskelly produced a stunning performance, hitting scintillating winners from all angles, as he swept aside England’s Chris Simpson in straight-games.

“I maybe didn’t have the confidence before that I could beat anyone in the world and I’ve had a few good wins and results in big tournament so I’ve got that belief now,” said Cuskelly.

“There was a time when I was stuck at 40 in the world for nine years or so and I thought maybe I wouldn’t actually make it but I stuck in and worked really hard and the last six months have been really good.

“I can’t believe I’m in the quarter-finals. I’ve been coming here for a few years and I’ve always watched the quarters and the semis so to be part of it now is awesome and I think I have a good chance in the next round as well.”

Cuskelly will face Colombian World No.5 Miguel Angel Rodriguez in the quarters while Lee will face World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy after downing German World No.6 Simon Rösner 3-0 to book his maiden last eight appearance.

“I can’t believe I came through in three,” said Lee. “The last few times we have played he has won so I’m very happy to make the quarter-finals of a World Series tournament for the first time.

Max Lee produces an amazing win over Simon Rosner
Max Lee produces an amazing win over Simon Rosner

“I feel fresh so I focused on trying to play at a fast pace and move him around the court and I think I had a good performance. I really wanted to win today so I tried very hard not to think too far ahead and make sure I got my plan right and played with good length and attacked to take the ball early.”

In the women’s draw England’s World No.3 Laura Massaro, winner of the first PSA World Series tournament of the season two weeks ago at the Delaware Investments U.S. Open, celebrated her 32nd birthday by booking a place in the last eight of the tournament in Doha.

She was forced to work hard for her berth in the quarters by compatriot Fiona Moverley who blended delicate hands and court craft to trouble Massaro from the off but the experience 2013 World Champion managed to find enough in her tank to hang in and see out the match.

“I didn’t play 100 per cent at my best and when you do that against someone as dangerous as her you can get hurt but I felt like I worked her game out as the match went on,” said Massaro.

Laura Massaro battles to overcome Fiona Moverley
Laura Massaro battles to overcome Fiona Moverley

“Every game was tight so I’m pleased to get off in four games. My first round match was quick and then I had a rest day yesterday so I feel like I’ll be better for the remainder of the tournament after having a tough test today.”

Massaro will take on Egyptian teenager Nouran Gohar, the World Junior Champion, in the quarter-finals which will also feature India’s number two Joshana Chinappa, who followed up her first round win over World No.1 Raneem El Welily to defeat Yathreb Adel and reach the last eight of a World Series tournament for the first time since 2013.

“It was hard to reset for today’s match after beating Raneem in the first round but I tried hard not to overthink anything and to just play simple,” said Chinappa.

“That’s what I did against Raneem and I knew Yathreb would be tough because she had a great win over Dipika in the first round so I’m happy I managed to stay focused on and not think too far ahead and put in a good performance.”

Qatar Classic: PSA World Series:

Results: Men’s Second Round (Top Half):
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [Q] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-3 (39m)
Max Lee (HKG) bt [5] Simon Rösner (GER) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-9 (37m)
[Q] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-0:11-4, 11-6, 11-7 (47m)
[3] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) – Walkover

Second Round (Bottom Half, to be played Nov 3)
[4] Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Mazen Hesham (EGY)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v [Q] Ali Farag (EGY)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Fares Dessouki (EGY) v [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)

Women’s Second Round (Top Half):
Joshana Chinappa (IND) bt Yathreb Adel (EGY) 3-0: 16-14, 11-8, 11-8 (37m)
[5] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt [10] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 15-13 (38m)
[8] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [Q] Amina Yousry (EGY) 3-0: 11-2, 11-5, 11-2 (23m)
[4] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [Q] Fiona Moverley (ENG) 3-1: 14-12, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9 (51m)

Second Round (Bottom Half, to be played Nov 3)
[3] Camille Serme (FRA) v [14] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
[9] Rachael Grinham (AUS) v [6] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
[7] Annie Au (HKG) v [11] Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
[16] Victoria Lust (ENG) v [2] Nicol David (MAS)

Pictures courtesy of PSA


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