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Qatar Classic 2020

Official Site





Round 1

Round 2

 Round 3  Quarters



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Qatar Classic 2020
01 - 07 Nov
Doha, Qatar, $175k

04 Nov
05 Nov
06 Nov
07 Nov

Youssef Ibrahim (EGY)
11-9, 6-11, 3-11, 15-13, 11-6 (65m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)

Youssef Ibrahim
11-4, 12-14, 11-2, 10-12, 11-5 (66m)
Fares Dessouky
Fares Dessouky
11-9, 11-0, 11-0 (37m)
Paul Coll

Paul Coll

11-8, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9 (61m)
 Ali Farag
Fares Dessouky (EGY)
11-2, 12-10, 11-2 (34m)
Borja Golan (ESP)
[6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
11-4, 11-5, 11-7 (34m)
Raphael Kandra (GER)
Marwan ElShorbagy
8-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-9, 11-5 (75m)
Paul Coll
[4] Paul Coll (NZL)
7-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5 (83m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA)
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY)
11-8, 11-3, 3-11, 11-4 (37m)
James Willstrop (ENG)
Tarek Momen
9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7 (79m)
Joel Makin
Tarek Momen
11-9, 11-2, 11-4 (37m)
 Ali Farag
[8] Joel Makin (WAL)
11-7, 11-9, 11-7 (52m)
Lucas Serme (FRA)
[5] Diego Elias (PER)
11-5, 13-11, 11-9 (53m)
Miguel Rodriguez (COL)
Diego Elias
11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 (69m)
Ali Farag
Eain Yow Ng (MAS)
11-5, 11-7, 11-7 (35m)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY)
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt George Parker (ENG) 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8 (61m)
Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 4-11, 11-3, 12-10 ret. (35m)
Borja Golan (ESP) bt [9/16] Omar Mosaad (EGY) 11-7, 6-11, 11-6, 13-11 (68m)
[9/16] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt [7] Simon RŲsner (GER) 11-3, 11-9, 11-8 (39m)
[6] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [WC] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 (40m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt [9/16] Saurav Ghosal (IND) 10-12, 11-9, 11-4, 11-7 (46m)
[9/16] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Mohamed Elsherbini (EGY) 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (42m)
[4] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 11-7, 11-5, 11-8 (38m)
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Youssef Soliman (EGY) 13-11, 9-11, 11-1, 11-5 (56m)
[9/16] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [9/16] Greg Lobban (SCO) 11-7, 13-15, 11-7, 11-7 (59m)
Lucas Serme (FRA) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-6 (57m)
[8] Joel Makin (WAL) bt [9/16] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 11-7, 11-3, 11-6 (33m)
[5] Diego Elias (PER) bt Abdulla Al-Tamimi (QAT) 11-9, 11-4, 11-8 (43m)
[9/16] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt Shahjahan Khan (USA) 11-3, 11-3, 11-6 (45m)
Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt Declan James (ENG) 13-11, 11-7, 11-8 (42m)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Richie Fallows (ENG) 11-9, 11-8, 11-3 (28m)
George Parker (ENG) bt Victor Crouin (FRA) 3-2: 9-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-6, 11-9 (66m)
Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-1: 11-7, 4-11, 11-8, 11-7 (41m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Auguste Dussourd (FRA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 (28m)
Borja Golan (ESP) bt Benjamin Aubert (FRA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-2, 11-8 (23m)
[WC] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) 3-1: 10-12, 11-3, 11-9, 11-8 (57m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) 3-1: 5-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-2 (43m)
Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) bt [WC] Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-9 (31m)
Baptiste Masotti (FRA) bt Ramit Tandon (IND) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-2 (24m)
Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Mazen Gamal (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-5 (41m)
Tom Richards (ENG) bt Nathan Lake (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 11-6 (33m)
Lucas Serme (FRA) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-1: 11-5, 12-14, 11-4, 14-12 (64m)
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt Patrick Rooney (ENG) 3-2: 10-12, 11-3, 11-8, 8-11, 11-3 (54m)
Shahjahan Khan (USA) bt Vikram Malhotra (IND) 3-1: 11-9, 3-11, 11-4, 11-3 (35m)
Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt Karim El Hammamy (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-5 (46m)
Declan James (ENG) bt Abdulrahman Al-Malki (QAT) 3-0: 11-1, 11-8, 11-1 (24m)
Richie Fallows (ENG) bt Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 3-0: 11-5, 11-9, 11-9 (41m)

Draw - Second Round (Top Half): To Be Played November 2nd
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v George Parker (ENG)
Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) v Cesar Salazar (MEX)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Borja Golan (ESP)
Fares Dessouky (EGY) v [7] Simon RŲsner (GER)
[6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v [WC] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Raphael Kandra (GER)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) v Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY)
Baptiste Masotti (FRA) v [4] Paul Coll (NZL)

Draw - Second Round (Bottom Half): To Be Played November 3rd
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) v Youssef Soliman (EGY)
James Willstrop (ENG) v Greg Lobban (SCO)
Tom Richards (ENG) v Lucas Serme (FRA)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [8] Joel Makin (WAL)
[5] Diego Elias (PER) v Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
Shahjahan Khan (USA) v Miguel Rodriguez (COL)
Eain Yow Ng (MAS) v Declan James (ENG)
Richie Fallows (ENG) v [2] Ali Farag (EGY)

Farag Beats Coll to Retain Qatar Classic Title

Egyptian World No.1 Ali Farag has retained his Qatar Classic title after beating World No.5 Paul Coll earlier today in the final of the PSA World Tour Platinum tournament held in Doha, Qatar.

Farag, 28, has now lifted his 21st PSA title following an 11-8, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9 victory over the Kiwi in 61 minutes, extending his winning run over Coll to 13 matches.

Faragís retrieval skills and graceful movement around court was breathtaking as he picked up the majority of what Coll threw at him and counterattacked superbly. Coll did manage to equalise after dropping the first game, but Farag recovered from a 4-0 deficit to take the third. Coll then battled back from 9-5 down to draw level in the final game, however Farag moved up a gear to seal the victory in four.

He has now become only the fourth man in Qatar Classic history to win the title twice, following in the footsteps of current World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy and the now retired Karim Darwish and Peter Nicol. Itís his second PSA World Tour title after the tourís restart following the six-month suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Coll, it marks a second year of frustration in Qatar following his defeat to World No.3 Tarek Momen in the PSA Menís World Championship final here 12 months ago. It was his second Platinum final appearance, with his first at the Windy City Open back in March, 2020 also ending in a defeat to Farag.

"The first time I couldnít believe it and this time around I canít believe it even more," said Farag following the match.

"When I was younger, I used to watch the Qatar Classic and see all the great names of our sport lifting that trophy and I could only imagine standing there one day. To do it twice is an amazing feeling. Weíve been playing with each other for a good few years now, he wasnít necessarily a very good junior or the most talented, but heís a living example of inspiration.

"If you put your head down, go on with your business and work hard, you can achieve everything you want in life. I have no doubt he will reach even higher levels than heís already reached and I have a lot of admiration for him. We couldnít be happier to be here, everyone takes good care of us and Iíd like to thank His Excellency Mr [Tamim bin] Hamad Al Thani and His Excellency Mr Nasser Al-Khelaifi for bringing this here year after year."

Coll said: "Itís a tough feeling at the moment. Iím obviously very happy to reach another final here in Qatar, itís a great tournament and a fantastic location.

"I always love coming here and Iíve played well here year in, year out. I wanted it pretty bad today but fell short. Itís a tough one to swallow, but Ali is World No.1 for a reason and he played the end of every game very well, so well done to Ali."

Farag takes home over $26,000 for his title win and also strengthens his lead on the menís CIB Road to Egypt Standings. Platinum tournament winners will qualify for the season-ending CIB PSA World Tour Finals as well as the top eight players on the standings. Farag is currently the only man to qualify following wins at both the CIB Egyptian Open last month and today in Qatar.
Semi Finals

New Zealandís Coll and Egyptís Farag to Contest Qatar Classic Final

New Zealandís World No.5 Paul Coll and Egyptís World No.1 Ali Farag will contest the final of the 2020 Qatar Classic after respective wins over World No.12 Fares Dessouky and World Champion Tarek Momen at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha, Qatar.

Coll and Farag will lock horns tomorrow in a repeat of Marchís 2020 Windy City Open final, where the Egyptian came from two games down to win the title in a thrilling battle in Chicago.

Both of todayís semi-final matches at the PSA Platinum event were 3-0 victories with Coll claiming an 11-9, 11-0, 11-0 victory over Egyptís Dessouky to reach his first Qatar Classic final and second in the country after reaching the final of the PSA World Championships on the same court 12 months ago.

There was no sign of fatigue from Coll following his two mammoth five-game battles in the previous days as he took a crucial first game, 11-9, finding his length and accuracy well to nullify the attacking intent from the talented Egyptian to go one game up.

A lack of concentration from Dessouky for the remainder of the match following a disagreement over a decision in the second saw Coll comfortably close out the win, remaining professional to take an 11-0 victory in each game to book his place in the final.

ďI thought I was hitting my targets brilliantly today,Ē said the 28-year-old. ďI really closed the court down. I just tried to be super accurate and really get him stuck in the back corners. If you hit your length on this court, then you really get rewarded.

ďIíve had two great years in Qatar in a row now, so hopefully I can go one further tomorrow. Iíve got my work cut out for me, but I felt really good out there today and Iím really looking forward to tomorrow.Ē

Collís competitor in the final will be World No.1 Farag after he was at his accurate best to defeat World No.3 Momen, 11-9, 11-2, 11-4 in 37 minutes.

Farag, who is the defending champion at this tournament after beating Germanyís Simon RŲsner in 2018 to lift the Platinum title, was in full flow to take an evenly contested first game and lay the foundations for an impressive victory over one of his closest rivals.

ďThe first game was crucial,Ē said Farag. ďIt started off a little too erratic which I think favours him more than me. I just tried to execute my game plan better by the end of the first game, even if you donít win it at least you go into the second you have the momentum. I did win it and I think that made a big psychological difference.

ďPaul [Coll] is very fit, so whenís he fresher, itís even more scary. I will try to execute my game plan of squash better and if I can, I will give myself a chance. It will be a tough one, he has made two back-to-back finals in Qatar now, so he seems to like it. Itís always a pleasure to play against him, he is such a warrior and competitor but in the right spirit of the game, so Iím really looking forward to it.Ē

The final take place tomorrow (November 7). Play starts at 18:00 (GMT+3) and will be shown live on SQUASHTV, t
Quarter Finals

Coll & Dessouky Reach Qatar Classic
Semis for First Time

New Zealandís Paul Coll and Egyptís Fares Dessouky will face off for a place in a maiden Qatar Classic final following respective victories over World No.6 Marwan ElShorbagy and World No.41 Youssef Ibrahim earlier today at the Khalifa International & Squash Complex in Doha, Qatar.

Quarter-finals day of the PSA World Tour Platinum tournament saw all four matches go all the way to five games, with Coll kicking things off with an 8-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-9, 11-5 victory to book his spot in the last four of this tournament for the first time.

Coll had won only one of his four previous matches against ElShorbagy - which included a loss to the eventual CIB PSA World Tour Finals winner in September - but kept on fighting to reach his first Platinum semi-final since the restart of the PSA World Tour.

ďHeís an all-round quality player,Ē said Coll, who reached the PSA Menís World Championship final in Qatar 12 months ago.

ďHeís probably got some of the best lengths out of anyone on tour, and if you let him dominate you then you can lose seven or eight points within a matter of minutes. Youíve got to be on your mettle with everything, he gives you nothing. I always love a battle with him, he gives you nothing and itís never easy.

ďMy first three tournaments have been a bit up and down, I thought I was playing well but I wasnít really getting some of the results that I was after. I love this court here, Iíve got fantastic memories from last year, itís a nice court to play on and Iím really looking forward to another semi-final tomorrow.Ē

World No.12 Dessouky stands between Coll and a place in the title decider after the 26-year-old ousted giant-killer Youssef Ibrahim 11-4, 12-14, 11-2, 10-12, 11-5 to reach his first Platinum semi since April 2019.

21-year-old Ibrahim caused one of the biggest shocks in the 19-year history of the Qatar Classic with victory over top seed Mohamed ElShorbagy in the previous round and took Dessouky to five games, but the older man had enough in his locker to edge the win.

"Everyone is saying he is the next Amr Shabana and I hope so, we need a Shabana back on tour," Dessouky said.

ďI have been through a lot. Many people, they say that mentally I am not very strong. Today I showed how strong I am, I have been through two surgeries and that is not easy for anyone. The other guys are playing without injuries and it is not easy to play at this level with injuries but I believe in myself and I will keep going."

On the opposite side of the draw, reigning World Champion Tarek Momen will take on defending Qatar Classic champion Ali Farag after both players came through five-game battles in todayís quarter-finals.

With a final appearance in 2017 allied to his World Championship triumph, Momen has often performed well on Qatari soil but had to hold his nerve to oust the dangerous Welshman Joel Makin, ending a two-match losing run to the World No.10.

ďIím always excited to play here," Momen said.

"I love the court conditions and I think I play my best squash here because of the setup. Iím definitely looking forward to my match tomorrow. Iíll try to recover to the best of my ability so I can be prepared for a good match again.Ē

The other match of the day saw World No.1 Farag topple Peruís Diego Elias, winning 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 to book a spot in the last four of this tournament for the second time.

Farag was pressed hard by the skills of the languid World No.7 but won the physical battle to claim victory after 69 minutes. He will go up against Momen for the second tournament in a row after defeating his fellow Egyptian in the CIB Egyptian Open final last month in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

ďTarek, his recent consistency speaks for itself," Farag said.

"I donít have to praise him much because the way he has been playing has been amazing. I donít know how you can play so many balls to the front and still be so consistent. He is a very unique player and is very talented, I am looking forward to a clean match, but not looking forward to how much running I will have to do tomorrow."

The semi-finals take place tomorrow (November 6). Play starts at 16:00 (GMT+3) and will be shown live on SQUASHTV, the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe & Japan).

For more information on the 2020 Qatar Classic, visit the official website and follow the tournament on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Round 3

Ibrahim Stuns Top Seed ElShorbagy to Reach Qatar
Classic Quarters

World No.41 Youssef Ibrahim came back from match ball down to cause one of the biggest upsets in Qatar Classic history earlier today, sending top seed Mohamed ElShorbagy out of the 2020 edition of the PSA World Tour Platinum event held in Doha following a five-game thriller.

Ibrahim, 21, is appearing in only his fifth Platinum tournament, while 29-year-old ElShorbagy is a seasoned professional and has notched up three Qatar Classic titles in the past, while the Bristol-based Egyptian held the World No.1 spot as recently as October.

But Ibrahim put in the finest performance of his PSA career to date as he overturned a match ball opportunity for his opponent in the fourth game to draw level, and he seldom put a foot wrong in the decider to reach the quarter-finals of a Platinum event for the first time.

It also marks the first time since October 2018 that ElShorbagy has failed to make the quarter-finals of a PSA World Tour event, while itís the first time since the 2010 edition of the Qatar Classic that he failed to make it beyond the last 16 here in Doha.

ďI donít know how to describe how Iím feeling right now," Ibrahim said following the match.

"Iíve been waiting for a break for a really long time and training really hard for so many years and I havenít had a good win, this just makes it so much better. Itís a rollercoaster of emotions, to beat someone like Mohamed in his form and where he is now, top seed of the tournament, itís just massive. I knew I was in for a fight, I had nothing to lose today.

"I put 100% into every shot in every game and I know he has a lot of experience, I had to be aware every game and when I took the lead, I usually squander the lead in so many matches, but against Mohamed I had to be on my toes the whole match. I will not doubt myself after beating Mohamed."

Ibrahim will line up against fellow Egyptian Fares Dessouky in the next round. Both players are appearing in their maiden Qatar Classic quarter-finals, and Dessouky booked his last eight spot courtesy of a win over Spanish veteran Borja Golan.

There was almost another upset earlier on in the day when World No.17 Gregoire Marche took World No.5 Paul Coll to five games.

Coll, who reached the PSA Menís World Championship final here in Doha 12 months ago, came close to a premature exit but recovered from 2-1 down to see off the Frenchman, setting up a meeting with World No.6 Marwan ElShorbagy, who beat Raphael Kandra.

ďHe came out very aggressive and I was a bit passive in my hitting,Ē said Coll.

ďHe actually didnít miss much the first set, rolled a few. The second and third, I think I made a few mistakes at the start of each which gave him a lead. In the fourth and fifth I just wanted to cut those out because I was winning the back end of the games, and I thought that if I got a lead at the start then I could hold that through each set."

The man Coll lost to in last yearís World Championship final, Tarek Momen, is also through to the quarter-finals following a 3-1 victory over 2005 Qatar Classic champion James Willstrop.

Willstrop, 37, caused problems for Momen at times and won the third game, but the World No.3 found his game again in the fourth to complete an 11-8, 11-3, 3-11, 11-4 victory that will see him take on Welshman Joel Makin next.

ďAs always itís a pleasure to play James,Ē said Momen.

ďHeís one of the incredible talents and itís always very tricky. I tried as hard as possible to expose his movement a bit, I succeeded in some patches but in some other patches my concentration levels were up and down. Overall, Iím happy with the performance and all credit to James, he played a great match today."

The final match of the day saw an all-South American battle take place as 23-year-old Peruvian Diego Elias took on Miguel Rodriguez of Colombia, with the former claiming an 11-9, 11-4, 11-8 victory to claim his first win over his opponent at the fifth attempt.

Despite the 11-year age gap between the two, Rodriguezís athleticism was impressive as he kept on getting the ball back during some exhibition-style rallies. But Elias had more guile and completed a win which will see him take on defending champion Ali Farag for a place in the semi-finals.

ďI knew it was going to be really tough, Iíve never beaten him on PSA,Ē Elias said.

ďHeís beaten me in total probably more than 30 times, so every time I play him I know itís going to be super hard. A lot of it is mental too, heís a great player and I have a lot of respect for him and Iím really happy I could go through this match in three games. Iíve only beaten Ali [Farag] twice and heís beaten me more than 10, so itís a really tough match."

World No.1 Farag overcame Malaysiaís Eain Yow Ng in a comfortable 3-0 win, while the other match of the day saw Makin dispatch Frenchman Lucas Serme.

The quarter-finals take place tomorrow (November 5). Play starts at 15:00 (GMT+3) and will be shown live on SQUASHTV and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe & Japan).

For more information on the 2020 Qatar Classic, visit the official website and follow the tournament on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

 Round 2 Top Half

ElShorbagy Beats Gaultier to March Into Qatar Classic Third Round

World No.6 Marwan ElShorbagy has booked his spot in the third round of the 2020 Qatar Classic, PSA World Tour Platinum tournament after getting the better of former World No.1 Gregory Gaultier at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha, Qatar earlier today.

ElShorbagy had beaten Gaultier in their last meeting all the way back in 2017 and controlled the match masterfully, refusing to get drawn into any discussions with the referee in a match that went through its scrappy periods.

37-year-old Gaultier lost his focus at times - even receiving a conduct stroke for ball abuse - and his frustrations contrasted with that of ElShorbagy, who cut a cool, composed figure on court as he closed out a confident 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 victory in 40 minutes.

ďWhen I saw the draw, I knew that playing him would be really tough," said ElShorbagy.

"Mentally, it is the toughest first match you can get because of what he has achieved. I watched him in 2006 when he played the World Championships [at the Great Pyramid of Giza] and he is someone who really inspired me. He was my role model, he still is my role model.

ďI admire what he has done for the game and just seeing the way he moves, the way he plays, for me, he is one of the greatest players of all time. I am really happy to be on court with him. It is a pleasure for me and I hope that we see him for many years to come."

ElShorbagy will play Germanyís Raphael Kandra in the last 16 after the World No.33 toppled Indiaís Saurav Ghosal to reach the third round of a Platinum event for the first time in 13 months.

Ghosal, the World No.13, took the opener but picked up a groin injury during the second game and, while he played on, his movement was clearly inhibited as Kandra came back to win three games without reply.

ďAltogether, this is definitely not how you want to win," Kandra said.

"Of course, he played on and he was still kind of moving but wasnít at his best and I wish him a quick recovery, he probably has time now since COVID-19 is kind of taking us back. Overall, Iím super happy, it has been a while since Iíve been in the third round and Iím really looking forward to continue."

Top seed Mohamed ElShorbagy will join younger brother Marwan in the last 16 after he got the better of Englandís George Parker in the final match of the day, winning 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8 in 61 minutes.

ElShorbagy, a three-time Qatar Classic champion, lost his World No.1 spot to Ali Farag yesterday but can reclaim top spot if he wins the tournament and Farag fails to make it to the final. The 29-year-old will take on compatriot Youssef Ibrahim in the next round.

ďHe played really well, thatís the way he plays and it was up to me to respond and up to me to find a way to win," said ElShorbagy.

"The fourth was very tight and it could have easily gone to a fifth game. He is such a great player and I have trained with him a few times down in Bristol. I know what he can do, I know how dangerous he is, he has so much potential, and I donít think he knows how much potential he actually has."

Ibrahim advanced following the retirement of Cesar Salazar due to injury, while Germanyís Simon RŲsner became the first top 10 player to exit the tournament after falling to a peerless performance from World No.12 Fares Dessouky.

The pair had only faced each other twice on the PSA World Tour before, but they had an average match time of over 75 minutes. This clash, though, was only just over half of that time as Dessouky dominated throughout, beating the World No.8 by an 11-3, 11-9, 11-8 scoreline.

ďObviously, it was not an easy match," Dessouky said.

"I know it was 3-0 but it was very close. I had to dig really deep to get every single point and to play at a fast pace, which wasnít easy at all, I am happy to be through."

Dessouky will play Spanish veteran Borja Golan in the next round after the 37-year-old defeated World No.16 Omar Mosaad. There were also wins for World No.5 Paul Coll and Frenchman Gregoire Marche, respectively.

Round two continues tomorrow (November 3) when defending champion and World No.1 Farag will begin his tournament. Play starts at 11:00 (GMT+3) and will be shown live on SQUASHTV and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe & Japan).

For more information on the 2020 Qatar Classic, visit the official website and follow the tournament on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.
Round 1

Home Favourite Al Tamimi Kicks off Qatar Classic with a Win

Qatari No.1 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi got his 2020 Qatar Classic campaign under way with a win over Englandís Patrick Rooney as the PSA World Tour Platinum tournament began at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha.

The Qatar Classic returns for the first time since 2018 after taking a year out to host the PSA Menís World Championship in 2019, and Al Tamimi will appear in the second round of this tournament for the first time after beating Rooney in five captivating games.

The World No.30 began the match with seven unforced errors in the first game but quickly improved to overcome Rooney by a 10-12, 11-3, 11-8, 8-11, 11-3 scoreline and he will line up against Peruís Diego Elias in the last 32.

ďItís tough playing here at home,Ē Al Tamimi said afterwards.

ďI need to raise my level always, I just want to make the whole country proud. I had some great performances last year, so I had a lot of pressure on me coming into this first round, especially with the lockdown weíve been having because of COVID-19. I havenít had any matches since February in Chicago.

ďI only played one match against Tarek [Momen] in Manchester and when I came back I had to do two weeks quarantine, so all that work went for nothing. I think its [the errors] just from a lack of matches and Iím really glad I got through this one. Iím sure against Diego Iíll be a lot sharper."

Meanwhile, 2011 Qatar Classic winner Gregory Gaultier was also victorious on the opening day of action as he came back from a game down to defeat Spainís Iker Pajares Bernabeu.

Former World No.1 Gaultier lost to Pajares when the pair met back in December at the WSF Menís World Team Squash Championship, which was Gaultierís first tournament back following a 14-month spell on the sidelines due to a knee injury.

Gaultier has been handed a wildcard spot for this tournament after his ranking Ė which is now up to No.56 Ė saw him miss out on qualifying for a place in the draw and he came back from a game down to complete a 10-12, 11-3, 11-9, 11-8 victory in 57 minutes. Gaultier will play CIB PSA World Tour Finals winner Marwan ElShorbagy in the next round in what will be their first PSA meeting since 2017.

ďIím very thankful to the Qatar Squash Federation for giving me the opportunity to get the wildcard to play,Ē said 37-year-old Gaultier.

ďAfter being out for 14 months, my ranking went from No.1 to No.600, so Iím very grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to play otherwise I wouldnít have been able to take part in this event. Iíve been coming here for 20 years, I missed the last two because of my injury, but Iím very happy to be back here."

Englandís George Parker has booked his spot in the next round after he prevailed in a gripping five-game contest with Frenchman Victor Crouin.

The court conditions favoured whoever took the ball in short more and it was initially Crouin who found his drop shots first as he made a superb start to the encounter.

But Parker felt his way into the match as he moved through the gears to take a 9-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-6, 11-9 victory and he is rewarded with a second round clash with Egyptís Mohamed ElShorbagy, who today lost his World No.1 spot to compatriot Ali Farag.

ďIím looking forward to it [playing ElShorbagy]," Parker said.

"Iíve played him a few times in Bristol in training and didnít win, so it will be an experience for me at No.40 in the world and 24 years old. Iím trying to get as much experience as I can playing in these matches when there is money and points on the line because playing these tough games is how you develop.Ē

There will two players making their debut appearances in the second round of a Platinum tournament after Englandís Richie Fallows and USAís Shahjahan Khan beat Pakistanís Tayyab Aslam and Indiaís Vikram Malhotra to reach that stage for the first time.

ďI think being consistent [was the key], which is usually something Iím not,Ē said Fallows, who will play Farag next.

ďI usually get to watch him [Farag] quite a lot because Iím normally out of the competition when I get home and I can watch him on TV. I enjoy watching Ali, heís one of the best.Ē

There were also wins for the likes of Englandís Declan James, Mexicoís Cesar Salazar, Spainís Borja Golan and Germanyís Raphael Kandra.

Round two begins tomorrow (November 2) with top seed Mohamed ElShorbagy in action. Play starts at 11:00 (GMT+3) and will be shown live on SQUASHTV and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe & Japan).

For more information on the 2020 Qatar Classic, visit the official website and follow the tournament on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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