Friday, March 1, 2024

Qualifier wins North of Scotland Open title

Youssef Soliman in action in the final
Youssef Soliman in action in the final

Youssef Soliman beats Chris Binnie in Aberdeen final
By DAVE IRESON in Aberdeen


Egypt’s Youssef Soliman, the 19-year-old world No.160 from Cairo,  won the Trac Oil and Field Open PSA M10 event in Aberdeen. 

Soliman fought through from qualifying to beat Chris Binnie of Jamaica in the final, his sixth victory on consecutive days. His performance was even more impressive having beaten top seed Karim Ali Fathi in the quarter-finals and then spending 100 minutes on court in the semi-finals to overcome No.3 seed Mahesh Mangaonkar of India.

Final: [Q] Youssef Soliman (Egy) vs Chris Binnie (Jam)
unnamedThe first game saw a much firmer stance from the referees on mid court interference. Standing on the ball would no longer be tolerated, hallelujah! Game was pretty clean from the start as a result with few decisions. Soliman looking to keep it tight and pacey and then then counter at the front, forcing several loose shots from Binnie. Although the score was 11-4 Binnie never looked out of the game, just didn’t seem to win many rallies.

Into the second and Binnie started the game quickly firing some balls into the nick at the front, seemingly trying to take the young Egyptian at his own game, however probably not too wise to get engaged in a nick contest with an Egyptian…. Soliman then reeling off a series of winners to take a 6-3 lead.

Binnie now seemed to be struggling with the referees’ firmer stance on interference, Soliman taking full advantage of having a clear route through to the ball starting to show us some holds and flicks at the front that we hadn’t yet seen from his racket. Silky stuff from the young Egyptian. At 9-4 up Soliman hits a nick and flick to take the game 11-4.

Soliman on fire in the third game, taking a 7-0 lead, Binnie contributed three tins to this score line, but all forced by Soliman just going for nicks for fun. Binnie starts to claw his way back into it – solid stuff at the back – just keeping it tight, but then at 9-5 down Binnie hits a couple of loose balls into the front, and it’s all over.

Soliman is the new TRAC North of Scotland Champion 2016! Well done, big things to come from this young man.
Youssef Soliman (Egy) bt Chris Binnie (Jam) 3-0 11-4 11-4 11-5 (33min)

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Semi Finals:
[2] Eddie Charlton (Eng) vs Chris Binnie (Jam)
This game started with a much greater display of length right from the word go. Both players were controlling the length and width of the ball, with great quality. However, the first game was all about the Charlton hold.

Quote from the crowd “Eddie isn’t even that deceptive, but he’s sent Binnie the wrong way 500 times”… yeah OK I don’t fancy your chances against him pal… His hold was excellently used to nullify the Binnie volley and stopped him dominating the middle, taking an early lead and closing out the game 11-4.

Difficult to understand what happened at the start of the second. Charlton came on court and fired the ball into the front on almost every second shot, making several uncharacteristic errors, and gave Binnie an early 6-1 lead. The second half of the game was much more competitive, with some longer rallies, with Charlton looking to move Binnie round the court, however the lead was too great and Binnie took the second game 11-7.

The game became very scrappy in the third, with a lot of lets, and no lets – there didn’t seem to be much consistency from the referees in their decision making. Charlton was clearly annoyed at this lack of consistency. Charlton not happy, game to Binnie 11-4.

It’s difficult to describe the difference in the first half of this game compared to the last two games. The quality and rhythm from Charlton was superb, using the height on the front wall brilliantly to push the ball into the corners, and then using deft touches to take the ball in short once he had forced an opening. Much more like the Charlton that we are used to seeing. The fluidity of squash was so good that there was also no interaction with the referees.

Then it all changed at 7-5. Charlton’s length dropped off ever so slightly and Binnie started to dominate the middle, and standing his ground – he wasn’t clearing. IN the first 2 games this would have resulted in a let, now the referees decided to award a series of no lets. Shafted. Game to Binnie 11-7.
Chris Binnie (Jam) bt Eddie Charlton (Eng) 3-1: 4-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 (53min)

[3] Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind) vs Youssef Soliman (Egy)
The first game was all about the quality of the counter drops. Neither player found a particularly good length in the first, so the ball spent a lot of time in the front corners; both players getting ample opportunity to attack the front. The first player to get that quality counter drop was punishing their opponent with savage diagonal hitting to the back.

Soliman was unlucky not to get two blatant strokes – a casualty of the three-man referee “it was a majority decision” problem…. Game tied at 10-10. Standard blood injury. Soliman suffered a small graze to his knee. Media reporter now acting as medic… Cheeky bit of kinesio tape and we are good to go. Tin from Mangaonkar, and an unreal nick from Soliman, and he takes the game 15-13 after 40 minutes!

Soliman goes off at a frantic pace in the second, not sure if Mangaonkar is going to be able to keep this up – he’s starting to look really tired. Soliman keep putting the ball short and then deep with superb accuracy, making Mangaonkar do a lot of work. Soliman goes 6-1 ahead. Mangoankar tries to slow it down but the damage is done and Soliman closes out the game 11-7.

The pace from both players slowed in the third, some tired bodies getting in each other’s way causing a few stoppages, this slowed game seemed to suit Mangaonkar at the start as he took a two point lead. Soft lets though…. Soliman looking tired now, but still hanging in there.
At 8-9 down he glues a drive to the wall, Mangaonkar can’t scrape it up. 9-9 and Mangaonkar earns a cheap let, clearly taking a line into the man not to the ball, Soliman visibly annoyed.

Pace goes up in the next rally – silly squash – blatant block from Mangaonkar, “yes let” – absolutely fuming…. (and that’s just the reporter!).  Slip and trip – court cleaning now required… standard. Soliman earns a match ball, good shut out from Mangaonkar. Safety let… standard. Brutal rally at 13-12, and Mangaonkar takes the third 14-12. Some tired bodies out there after 83 minutes so far.

The start of the fourth is scrappy, but Mangaonkar manages to keep it the tidier of the two players and edges an early lead. Massive rally Soliman looks hurt, and just starts going for it now – shorter rallies, but tempo to the max, back to suiting Soliman – Mangaonkar on the ropes – so many diagonals….

Hurt locker isn’t going to come close tomorrow morning. Soliman earns a match ball. Obvious stroke to Mangaonkar – “yes let”. Kill winner on return of serve from Mangaonkar. Obvious stroke to Soliman – “yes let”. Drop winner and we have our first finalist after 100 minutes of play
Youssef Soliman (Egy) bt Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind) 3-1: 15-13, 11-7, 12-14, 11-7 (100min)

PSA M10 Trac Oil & Gas North of Scotland Open 2016, Aberdeen, Scotland.

[Q] Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Christopher Binnie (JAM) 11-4, 11-4, 11-5 (33m)

[Q] Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt [3] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 15-13, 11-7, 12-14, 11-7 (100m)
Christopher Binnie (JAM) bt [2] Eddie Charlton (ENG) 4-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 (53m)

[Q] Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt [1] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-9 (73m)
[3] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt [7] Chris Fuller (ENG) 11-6, 11-3, 11-5 (32m)
Christopher Binnie (JAM) bt [LL] Joe Green (ENG) 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-4 (61m)
[2] Eddie Charlton (ENG) bt [6] Steven Finitsis (AUS) 11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9 (70m)

1st round:
[1] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt [Q] Joshua Masters (ENG) 7-11, 11-7, 16-14, 9-11, 11-4 (76m)
[Q] Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt [8] Joshua Larkin (AUS) 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7 (63m)
[7] Chris Fuller (ENG) bt [Q] Ashley Davies (ENG) 10-12, 13-11, 7-11, 11-9, 14-12 (98m)
[3] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt Douglas Kempsell (SCO) 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 10-12, 12-10 (95m)
[LL] Joe Green (ENG) bt [4] Piedro Schweertman (NED) 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9 (59m)
Christopher Binnie (JAM) bt [5] Richie Fallows (ENG) 11-9, 3-11, 11-2, 11-8 (54m)
[6] Steven Finitsis (AUS) bt [Q] Matthew Hopkin (AUS) 11-7, 1-11, 11-5, 11-7 (33m)
[2] Eddie Charlton (ENG) bt [WC] Chris Leiper (SCO) 11-5, 11-5, 11-7 (26m)

Pictures by MIKE HEGARTY (ASRC) 


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