Welsh No.1 meets reigning champion in first round
By SEAN REUTHE in New York
The final day of qualifying at the 2018 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions saw World No.41 Joel Makin upset top qualifying seed Alan Clyne to reach the main draw of the PSA World Series tournament – which takes place inside New York’s Grand Central Terminal – for the first time.
Makin prevailed in a gruelling five-game clash with Scotland’s Clyne, taking it 8-11, 11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5 in 80 minutes to send the Welshman through to the main draw, where he will take on defending champion Karim Abdel Gawad in round one.
He will be joined in the main draw by fellow Brits Declan James, Tom Richards and Adrian Waller after the English trio defeated Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi, Greg Lobban, and Ramit Tandon, respectively.
James will lock horns with Peruvian World No.10 Diego Elias, while Richards comes up against Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal for a place in round two. Waller, meanwhile, takes on Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller.
Elsewhere, World No.29 Gregoire Marche came out on top in an all-French battle with Lucas Serme to set up a main draw meeting with 2012 winner Nick Matthew, while New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson is also through after his opponent, Hong Kong’s Max Lee, retired during the fifth game of their fixture.
Egypt’s World No.33 Mazen Hesham is the other man through to the main draw courtesy of a victory over England’s Chris Simpson and he will take on three-time champion Ramy Ashour in one of the standout matches of the first round.
The first round of the men’s tournament begins tomorrow (January 18), with the women’s tournament starting two days later. The finals of both the men’s and women’s tournaments will take place on Thursday January 25 from 19:00 local time (GMT-5) onwards.
Main draw matches held on the glass show court inside Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe Only), while the semi-finals and finals will also be shown on mainstream broadcasters, such as BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.
Tickets for the tournament start from just $8 and can be purchased via the tournament website: www.tocsquash.com
2018 Men’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, New York, USA.
Men’s Final Qualifying Round:
 Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt  Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-0: 11-3, 11-8, 11-8 (43m)
 Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) bt  Raphael Kandra (GER) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-2 (31m)
 Adrian Waller (ENG) bt [L] Ramit Tandon (IND) 3-1: 11-5, 7-11, 11-3, 11-2 (44m)
 Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt  Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 (50m)
 Declan James (ENG) bt  Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 3-0: 12-10, 11-9, 11-9 (48m)
 Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt  Max Lee (HKG) 3-2: 11-9, 4-11, 13-11, 6-11, 4-1 ret.
 Tom Richards (ENG) bt  Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-2: 7-11, 11-13, 13-11, 11-5, 11-8 (68m)
 Joel Makin (WAL) bt  Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-2: 8-11, 11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5 (80m)
Draw – First Round (Top Half) To Be Played January 18:
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [WC] Todd Harrity (USA)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [Q] Tom Richards (ENG)
James Willstrop (ENG) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
[Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) v  Nick Matthew (ENG)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v Cesar Salazar (MEX)
Simon Rösner (GER) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v [Q] Adrian Waller (ENG)
[Q] Joel Makin (WAL) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
First Round (Bottom Half) To Be Played January 19:
 Ali Farag (EGY) v [Q] Campbell Grayson (NZL)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [Q] Mazen Hesham (EGY)
Zahed Mohamed (EGY) v  Paul Coll (NZL)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
Diego Elias (PER) v [Q] Declan James (ENG)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v Omar Mosaad (EGY)
Leo Au (HKG) v  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
Picture by KIM ROBERTS