Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Patrick Rooney to face Mostafa Asal after beating Ramit Tandon in Singapore first round battle

By ALAN THATCHER (Squash Mad Editor) and MATT COLES (PSA) in Singapore

Patrick Rooney overcame India’s Ramit Tandon in a five-game battle to join fellow Brits Mohamed ElShorbagy and Joel Makin in the men’s second round of the Marigold Singapore Open.

Rooney’s prize is a tie against No.2 seed Mostafa Asal, while in the top half of the draw No.4 seed ElShorbagy meets Germany’s Raphael Kandra and No.6 seed Makin takes on Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller.

Rooney allowed a two-game lead to slip away as Tandon fought his way back into the match and finally squeezed home in the fifth to win 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9 in 65 minutes.

Rooney and Tandon had only met once previously on the PSA World Tour, with Rooney coming through in a five game thriller in Qatar, and that’s exactly how it turned out today.

Rooney dominated the opening stages and kept in front of Tandon for the majority of the first two games, not getting involved in the front court exchanges too much, given the skill level of the Indian. The England No.2 earned himself a well deserved 2-0 lead and looked confident leaving the court.

Tandon responded however and kept his attacking style of play going despite the 2-0 deficit. The Indian then capitalised on a dip in concentration from Rooney to take game three and breathe more life in the contest. The game three win seemed to give a heap of confidence to the Indian for game four as his attacks couldn’t seem to miss. He levelled the match, taking the fourth game 11-8 to set up a fifth and final game.

Tandon started the better of the two but it wasn’t too long before Rooney was back in front of the Indian. The Englishman used his superior reach to keep Tandon behind him and managed to stay solid in the final stages of the game and eventually forced an error at 10-9 to take the match, much to the Englishman’s relief.

Here’s what Rooney had to say about his win: “I didn’t have a game plan, I just came out to play a game of squash and be relaxed and solid and hoped I’d get through it.

“But in the third game, the disruptions got the better of me and I lost my head a bit and the fifth it was a bit of a shoot-out. I just had to be a bit lucky.

“I’m struggling with the heat. I’m used to cold, rainy, grey weather in England. I’m enjoying Singapore, even though it’s humid. The court conditions are good so I have nothing to complain about.

“I thought I was going to be out so I’m still processing the win today. I’m looking forward to playing Asal. It’s always good to play top players and learn from them so I’m looking forward to that.”

World No.8 Fares Dessouky was unfortunately forced to withdraw before his match with Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi due to injury.

Al Tamimi therefore received a bye and goes straight through to the last 16 where he will set up a surely entertaining clash with Egypt’s Mazen Hesham.

MARIGOLD Singapore Squash Open, OCBC Arena, Singapore.

Men’s First Round:
Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-2: 12-14, 11-4, 9-11, 14-12, 11-1 (90m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Shahjahan Khan (USA) 3-2: 9-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4 (64m)
Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 11-6 (35m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt [WC] Samuel Kang (SGP) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-9 (31m)
Moustafa El Sirty (EGY) bt Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-4 (38m)
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt Fares Dessouky (EGY): Walkover
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Ivan Yuen (MAS) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 (35m)
Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt Ramit Tandon (IND) 3-2: 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9 (65m)

Men’s Second Round (Top Half, Wednesday, November 16):
[1] Paul Coll (NZL) v Eain Yow Ng (MAS)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v [6] Joel Makin (WAL)
[5] Tarek Momen (EGY) v Miguel Rodriguez (COL)
Raphael Kandra (GER) v [4] Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG)

Men’s Second Round (Bottom Half, Thursday, November 17):
[3] Diego Elias (PER) v Moustafa El Sirty (EGY)
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) v [7] Mazen Hesham (EGY)
[8] Victor Crouin (FRA) v Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Patrick Rooney (ENG) v [2] Mostafa Asal (EGY)

Pictures courtesy of PSA World Tour 


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