Upsets were the order of the day in the first qualifying round of the Qatar Classic as surprise names secured places in the qualifying finals of the seventh PSA World Series squash event of the year at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in the Qatari capital Doha.
Kuwaiti Ammar Altamimi (pictured above) became the lowest-ranked player to progress after beating Finland’s world No 39 Henrik Mustonen, the Finn who made the last 16 of the World Championship last week against expectations.
The 25-year-old world No 98 from Kuwait City despatched Mustonen 12-10, 11-6, 11-5 – and will now face Denmark’s Kristian Frost Olesen for a place in the main draw. Olesen, ranked 63 in the world, also pulled off an upset, beating Scotland’s world No 31 Alan Clyne 13-11, 11-7, 5-11, 3-11, 11-9 in 111 minutes – the longest match of the day.
But Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet was the biggest casualty. The world No 23 from Aix-en-Provence fell to 20-year-old Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar 16-14, 5-11, 12-10, 11-5 in 56 minutes.
The world No 59 from Cairo will now line up against fellow countryman Mohd Ali Anwar Reda in the next round.
Five Egyptians will contest the qualifying finals, plus two Englishmen, together with individual representatives from France, Finland, Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Denmark, India and Kuwait.
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Zeyad Tareq Alowaesh (KUW) 11-6, 11-1, 11-2 (22m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) 11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7 (63m)
Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) bt Christopher Gordon (USA) 11-7, 12-10, 11-13, 4-11, 11-9 (75m)
Joe Lee (ENG) bt Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) 9-11, 11-4, 13-11, 11-5 (64m)
Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bt Khawaja Adil Maqbool (PAK) 11-4, 11-2, 11-7 (21m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 16-14, 5-11, 12-10, 11-5 (56m)
Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY) bt Ivan Yuen (MAS) 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 (43m)
Ammar Altamimi (KUW) bt Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 12-10, 11-6, 11-5 (30m)
Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 13-11, 11-7, 5-11, 3-11, 11-9 (111m)
Max Lee (HKG) bt Ahmed Mohammed Al Tamimi (QAT) 11-2, 11-6, 11-2 (16m)
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt Yousif Nizar Saleh (KUW) 11-4, 6-11, 11-4, 11-5 (35m)
Nasir Iqbal (PAK) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 15-13 (71m)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt Abdulrahman Al-Malki (QAT) 11-4, 11-2, 11-5 (27m)
Qualifying finals line-up:
Olli Tuominen (FIN) v Charles Sharpes (ENG)
Andrew Wagih Shoukry (EGY) v Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) v Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND)
Joe Lee (ENG) v Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY)
Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY) v Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) v Ammar Altamimi (KUW)
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) v Max Lee (HKG)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v Nasir Iqbal (PAK)