Qualifiers meet in Pittsburgh quarter-finals after first round upsets
By Squash Mad Reporter
England’s Charles Sharpes, the 22-year-old who booked his place in the main draw after coming through two qualification encounters, has reached the semi-finals of the Pittsburgh Open.
After defeating World No.21 Alister Walker in the opening round of this PSA International 25 tournament, England’s Sharpes followed up to win a battle of qualifiers against Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi to book his place in the last four.
Sharpes prevailed 3-2 in a tight 51-minute battle against the Qatari number one to move into the semi-finals of an International 25 tournament for the first time in his career where experienced Scottish World No.36 Alan Clyne will await, after he secured a 3-1 victory over Egyptian Karim Ali Fathi.
In the top half of the draw number one seed Karim Abdel Gawad, the Egyptian World No.20, proved too strong for rising Peruvian dander Diego Elias, getting past the youngster 3-0, while Australian Ryan Cuskelly put in a cultured performance to get past Gregoire Marche of France.
In the first round, Sharpes, the World No.68, put in an impressive performance to complete a straight games victory over the Botswanan former World No.12 and move into the quarter-finals.
“That was the best win of my career,” Sharpes said. “I was very pleased with how I played, and I am thrilled to have beaten the world number 21.”
Pittsburgh Open (First Round):
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [Q] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-1: 9-11, 14-12, 12-10, 12-10 (83m)
 Diego Elias (PER) bt Alfredo Avila (MEX) 3-2: 11-6, 4-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-6 (75m)
 Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt [Q] Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) 3-0: 12-10, 11-9, 11-8 (44m)
 Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-2: 6-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-3 (80m)
 Alan Clyne (SCO) bt [WC] Joel Hinds (ENG) 3-1: 13-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-3 (52m)
 Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt Christopher Gordon (USA) 3-0: 11-7, 12-10, 11-9 (40m)
[Q] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt  Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 3-2: 11-5, 5-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-1 (78m)
[Q] Charles Sharpes (ENG) bt  Alister Walker (BOT) 3-0: 13-11, 11-9, 11-4 (42m)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt  Diego Elias (PER) 3-0: 11-8, 18-16, 11-6 (56m)
 Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt  Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 13-11 (81m)
 Alan Clyne (SCO) bt  Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 3-1: 6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-7 (73m)
[Q] Charles Sharpes (ENG) bt [Q] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 3-2: 5,-11 11-4, 1-1, 12-10, 11-6 (51m)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v  Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
 Alan Clyne (SCO) v [Q] Charles Sharpes (ENG)
Picture by KIM ROBERTS