All-English tie with Adrian Waller in second round
By SEAN REUTHE in Doha
England’s Daryl Selby claimed one of his biggest wins in recent years after he came through a five-game battle with World No.4 Omar Mosaad on the second day of the 2016 Qatar Classic, World Series tournament held at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha.
The World No.19 relinquished a one-game lead to go 2-1 down, but produced a spirited fightback to claim a huge 11-9, 5-11, 2-11, 11-9, 11-2 victory for the 34-year-old – his first win over Mosaad at the sixth attempt.
“It was tough as it always is, and it hasn’t really sunk in yet, but I’m delighted obviously to beat him for the first time,” said Selby.
“It was a similar match to the ones we’ve played in the past, they always seem to be five-gamers and they’re always fairly physical. I expect that really because he’s such a big guy. He’s tough to play because he hits the ball so hard and so cleanly.
“Maybe I kept my head a little bit better in the fifth game and he looked a little bit despondent. He’s lacking a little bit of confidence at the moment, whereas I’ve been having some decent results.”
World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad got his tournament off to a winning start as he led compatriots Marwan ElShorbagy and Zahed Mohamed through to the second round, where there will be a five-strong Egyptian contingent after World No.1 Mohamed, the older brother of Marwan, and World No.9 Tarek Momen claimed wins on the opening day of action.
Gawad, competing less than two weeks after he defeated compatriot Ramy Ashour in the PSA Men’s World Championship final in Cairo, went a game behind courtesy of some consistent play from Reda.
But the 25-year-old found his range and showcased his sublime attacking talents to full effect as he won the next three games in comfortable fashion, taking it 9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-3 to ensure that he will take on Mohamed – who beat England’s Tom Richards – for a place in the quarter-finals.
“I was very, very tired after the World Championship,” said Gawad. “I finished on the Friday and then I had to travel on Monday to Qatar. I only had a couple of sessions in Qatar, I didn’t have enough time to do loads of fitness, I just tried to relax my body and tried to recover.”
World No.7 Marwan booked his place in round two after rising to a routine 3-0 win over Hong Kong’s World No.41 Tsz Fung Yip.
Yip, who claimed a notable win over World No.8 Miguel Angel Rodriguez in August’s Hong Kong Open, started brightly and went 3-0 ahead in the opening game before ElShorbagy took control, coming through 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 in 27 minutes – and he will face Australian No.2 Ryan Cuskelly in the next round.
“I was very happy, it was my first time playing Yip, he’s had a few good wins and I had to watch a few of his matches to study him,” said ElShorbagy.
“I had to be careful from the beginning and not give him any chances as he would have taken them. I’m very happy to win in less than half an hour. There are no rest days for us in the bottom half, so it’s perfect for me against Cuskelly.”
Cuskelly made history at this tournament last year after he became the first player since 2001 to come through qualification and progress to the last four of a World Series tournament – and he required five games to see off World No.17 Max Lee.
Lee was irresistible early on as he swept to a one-game lead for the loss of three points, but a tenacious Cuskelly refused to bow down to the pressure as he battled back to go 2-1 ahead. The 29-year-old was unable to convert a match ball though, and Lee forced a decider, only to succumb to cramp as Cuskelly closed out a 3-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-13, 11-9 victory.
“I probably didn’t play the best but I tried to stay solid and he gave me a few cheap ones in the end before he started cramping, so I was a bit lucky,” Cuskelly admitted.
“Overall, I’m happy with the win. I’ve had a couple of bad results, so everything was going through my head. I could have lost it but I stayed strong in the fifth and snuck it.”
Cuskelly will be joined in the next round by fellow Australian Cameron Pilley, who defeated Nafiizwan Adnan in straight games, and Pilley will face Cesar Salazar in round two after the Mexican beat Omar Abdel Meguid.
England’s Adrian Waller overcame World No.34 Nicolas Mueller in the day’s other tie and he will take on Selby for a place in the quarter-final stage.
PSA M150 Qatar Classic 2016, Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, Doha, Qatar.
First Round (Bottom Half):
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [Q] Mohamed Reda (EGY) 3-0: 9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-3 (41m)
Zahed Mohamed (EGY) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 12-10, 11-4 (27m)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt Max Lee (HKG) 3-2: 3-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-13, 11-9 (96m)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 (27m)
 Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 3-0: 11-5, 11-9, 11-5 (52m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) 3-1: 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 15-13 (53m)
[Q] Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-1: 6-11, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10 (62m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt  Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 5-11, 2-11, 11-9, 11-2 (69m)
Second Round (To be played Tuesday November 15):
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Leo Au (HKG)
James Willstrop (ENG) v  Simon Rösner (GER)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v Gregoire Marche (FRA)
[Q] Alan Clyne (SCO) v  Nick Matthew (ENG)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Zahed Mohamed (EGY)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v  Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
 Cameron Pilley (AUS) v Cesar Salazar (MEX)
[Q] Adrian Waller (ENG) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
Pictures by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com) courtesy of PSA