Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Qatar qualifiers set up some fiery first round clashes

Paul Coll overcame Joe Lee in 78 minutes
Paul Coll overcame Joe Lee in 78 minutes

Paul Coll beats Joe Lee in 78-minute marathon


The final qualifying round of the 2016 Qatar Classic saw all but one of the top eight seeded qualifiers seal their main draw berths at the World Series tournament, with number six qualifying seed Karim Ali Fathi being the main casualty after he lost out to Hong Kong’s Tsz Fung Yip at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha.

World No.40 Fathi had been in fine form recently after reaching the third round of the PSA Men’s World Championship a fortnight ago – downing World No.14 Cameron Pilley in the process – but it was Yip who played with unerring accuracy to stifle the Egyptian’s attacking talents, and he claimed a 12-10, 11-4, 11-5 victory to set up a Qatar Classic main draw debut with World No.7 Marwan ElShorbagy.

“I think today was more a mental thing than a tactical choice,” said Yip. “I was the underdog and that released a lot of pressure. I only tried to compete and perform. I tried to keep the ball as tight as possible and not to give anything to him in the middle. I’m happy, today was my day.”

Elsewhere, Malaysia’s Nafiizwan Adnan set up a tantalising main draw clash with Australian No.1 Cameron Pilley after sweeping to a win in straight games against Kuwait’s Abdullah Al Muzayen.

“I am really happy to beat Abdullah today,” Adnan admitted. “He’s been my bogey man a bit, I never managed to beat him. We’ve never played on the Tour before, but in the Asian Games and other tournaments, and I just never found a way to beat him.

“So today, I spoke with my coach, Peter Genever, and he told me: ‘Come on, you are good enough, you just beat [Omar] Mosaad last week’. I just never managed to stop him from holding and cross courting, that’s his strength, but today I did manage it.”

Two of the day’s matches went all the way to five games, with England’s Declan James and Scotland’s Alan Clyne coming through 3-2 winners against Vikram Malhotra and Farhan Zaman, respectively.

James will line up against German No.1 Simon Rösner for a place in round two of the main draw, while Clyne will lock horns with India’s Saurav Ghosal.

James Willstrop and Chris Simpson meet in the first round
James Willstrop and Chris Simpson meet in the first round

New Zealand duo Paul Coll and Campbell Grayson, Egypt’s Mohamed Reda and England’s Adrian Waller were the other victors on the final day of qualification. Coll won the longest match of the day, beating England’s Joe Lee 12-14, 13-11, 11-7, 11-7 in a massive battle lasting 78 minutes.

Coll and Grayson have ties against Tarek Momen and Leo Au to look forward to, with Reda facing World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad. Waller, meanwhile, will do battle with Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller.

One of the matches of the tournament is an all-English battle featuring Yorkshire neighbours James Willstrop and Chris Simpson. Former world champion Nick Matthew meets wild card Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi from Qatar, who is coached by Australian legend Geoff Hunt.

The Qatar tournament, like all the major events on the PSA World Tour, is a melting pot of cultures and playing styles  in one of the few permanent glass-court arenas in the world.

The main draw of the 2016 Qatar Classic begins on Sunday November 13, with the final taking place on Friday November 18. Entry to the tournament is free of charge.

2016 Qatar Classic

Results – Final Qualifying Round:
[1] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-5 (27m)
[8] Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt [16] Mazen Gamal (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-7, 11-5 (39m)
[7] Mohamed Reda (EGY) bt [15] Ivan Yuen (MAS) 3-1: 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7 (55m)
[3] Alan Clyne (SCO) bt [13] Farhan Zaman (PAK) 3-2: 12-10, 11-8, 10-12, 6-11, 11-4 (49m)
[4] Adrian Waller (ENG) bt [14] Charles Sharpes (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 (32m)
[5] Declan James (ENG) bt Vikram Malhotra (IND) 3-2: 8-11, 11-4, 11-8, 10-12, 11-9 (64m)
[9] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) bt [6] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 3-0: 12-10, 11-4, 11-5 (29m)
[2] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [10] Joe Lee (ENG) 3-1: 12-14, 13-11, 11-7, 11-7 (78m)
1st qualifying round:
Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Evan Williams (NZL) 12-10, 11-3, 11-2 (35m)
Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) bt Ben Coleman (ENG) 11-9, 8-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-8 (66m)
Mazen Gamal (EGY) bt Ammar Altamimi (KUW) 11-9, 11-13, 11-4, 11-6 (54m)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Ahmad Al-Saraj (JOR) 11-5, 11-7, 11-2 (28m)
Mohamed Reda (EGY) bt Angus Gillams (ENG) 11-8, 11-3, 11-7 (31m)
Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt Hamad Al Amri (QAT) 11-9, 11-2, 11-2 (19m)
Farhan Zaman (PAK) bt Abdulrahman Al-Malki (QAT) 11-6, 11-6, 11-2 (18m)
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Umair Zaman (QAT) 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (21m)
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Sandeep Ramachandran (IND) 11-4, 11-3, 11-1 (21m)
Charles Sharpes (ENG) bt Ahmad Al-Mudhaf (KUW) 11-2, 11-3, 11-3 (17m)
Vikram Malhotra (IND) bt Olli Tuominen (FIN) 11-5, 11-3, 11-9 (25m)
Declan James (ENG) bt Khawaja Adil Maqbool (PAK) 11-7, 11-6, 11-3 (24m)
Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (IND) 11-13, 11-8, 11-6, 11-5 (50m)
Yip Tsz Fung (HKG) bt Lance Beddoes (NZL) 11-6, 11-6, 11-2 (23m)
Joe Lee (ENG) bt Richie Fallows (ENG) 11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 2-2 ret. (56m)
Paul Coll (NZL) bt Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT) 11-6, 11-7, 11-4 (24m)

Main Draw: First Round
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Diego Elias (PER)
Leo Au (HKG) v [Q] Campbell Grayson (NZL)
James Willstrop (ENG) v Chris Simpson (ENG)
[Q] Declan James (ENG) v [7] Simon Rösner (GER)
[6] Tarek Momen (EGY) v [Q] Paul Coll (NZL)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) v Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO)
[WC] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) v [4] Nick Matthew (EGY)
[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [Q] Mohamed Reda (EGY)
Tom Richards (ENG) v Zahed Mohamed (EGY)
Max Lee (HKG) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
[Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) v [5] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
[8] Cameron Pilley (AUS) v [Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) v Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v [Q] Adrian Waller (ENG)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v [2] Omar Mosaad (EGY) 

Pictures from Squash Mad archive 


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