English number three seed Joshua Masters captured the second PSA
World Tour title of his career after a fine 3-0 victory over
Portugal’s Rui Soares in the final of the 2016 Austrian Open, PSA M5
The World No.83 from Maidstone opened up his event with wins over
Czech qualifier Daniel Mekbib and Bermuda’s Micah Franklin, before
sweeping past top seed Sebastiaan Weenink in style. Soares,
meanwhile, came through an almighty five-game semi-final with
Frenchman Baptiste Masotti, recovering from 2-1 down to book his
place in the final.
Masters came flying out of the traps and exhibited some fine control
of the court as he sought to seize the early initiative against an
opponent ranked 74 places behind him in the World Rankings.
He took the opener 11-7 and followed that up by doubling his
advantage for the loss of five points in game two.
Soares came out fighting in the third but it was to no avail as
Masters held firm to close out an 11-7, 11-5, 11-8 win to claim the
title just three days after his 21st birthday.
"I’m very happy, I have had a really good year so far," said
"I played really well and it was a great tournament for me. Now I
have to put my racket aside for a bit to study for some exams at
University. I am not looking forward to it, but it has to be done."
French number four seed Baptiste Masotti vanquished local hopes of
seeing a home winner of the 2016 Austrian Open, PSA M5 tournament
after a 3-1 victory over second seed Aqeel Rehman.
Masotti had the better of the early exchanges and opened up a
one-game lead before Austrian Nationals Champion Rehman levelled
things up after battling his way into contention.
The momentum shifted back in Masotti’s favour as he took the third
before falling behind to a resilient Rehman in game four. World
No.112 Rehman built up a game ball and looked destined to take the
match into a deciding fifth, only to squander it as Masotti edged
the win over the line to secure an 11-8, 4-11, 11-7, 13-11 victory.
Masotti will meet Portugal’s Rui Soares for a place in the final,
who progressed after his opponent, qualifier Rudi Rohrmuller,
retired from the match while holding a 2-1 lead due to illness.
Meanwhile, top seed Sebastiaan Weenink and England’s Joshua Masters
are set to face off in a mouth-watering semi-final showdown. Weenink
came through a five-game thriller against Auguste Dussourd, while
Micah Franklin was put to the sword as Masters continued his fine
displays thus far.
Spectators gathered inside Salzburg’s Eurosport Shopping Mall will
have a quarter-final with plenty of local interest in store as Aqeel
Rehman and Jakob Dirnberger get set to face off against each other
in their native country after defeating Jan Ryba and Baptiste
Masotti, respectively, in the opening round of the 2016 Austrian
Open, PSA M5 tournament.
Rehman was in fine fettle throughout his 45-minute encounter with
Ryba as he surged to an 11-7, 12-10, 11-5 triumph after controlling
the ’T’ and displaying impressive guile to outmanoeuvre his
Meanwhile, Dirnberger, the tournament’s wildcard, came into his
fixture with Masotti as the underdog given the 62-place gap between
the pair in the World Rankings, but the World No.204 came up with a
virtuoso performance to vanquish any hopes Frenchman Masotti may
have had of reaching the latter stages.
Top seed Sebastiaan Weenink will also participate in the next round
after an assured victory over England’s Nick Mulvey enabled him to
progress. The Dutchman had the better of the opening two games and
defended his lead in an exceedingly close third to close out the win
and set up a meeting with Auguste Dussourd, the number seven seed
who beat Ondrej Uherka.
Mulvey’s compatriot, third seed Joshua Masters, had better luck
after a fine straight games win over Daniel Mekbib and his reward is
a quarter-final tie against Micah Franklin, who saw off Elliot
Germany’s Rudi Rohrmuller is the only qualifier to make it to the
last eight thanks to victory over Jami Aijanen. The pair had met
just a day previously, with Rohrmuller winning, but Aijanen was
granted a place in the main draw after Jaymie Haycocks’ withdrawal.
Aijanen was unable to reverse his fortunes at the second attempt
though and succumbed to a 3-0 defeat. Rohrmuller will look to
continue his impressive tournament thus far against Rui Soares, with
the man from Portugal dispatching Tristan Eysele.
Germany’s Rudi Rohrmuller sealed his place in the main draw of the
2016 Austrian Open, PSA M5 tournament after defeating Jami Aijanen
in the final round of qualifying – and a quirk of fate means that
the duo will also square off in the main draw’s first round.
Rohrmuller put in a composed performance and, after both players had
taken a game apiece, he pushed up a gear to take a further two and
settle an 11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7 victory.
Aijanen joins the main draw due to Jaymie Haycocks’ withdrawal and
will face Rohrmuller again as he looks to turn the tables.
Meanwhile, England’s Elliot Selby ensured that no Austrian qualifier
would make it to the main draw after he eased to victory against
Christoph Ressel. Selby had received a bye in the first qualifying
round and came into the encounter with fresh legs against a player
who had battled to a 3-2 victory the day before. After a dominant
display, the World No.237 closed out the win in just 19 minutes to
set up a main draw meeting with Micah Franklin.
Top qualifying seed Daniel Mekbib has also moved through to the main
draw action after defeating Bradley Masters in four. Mekbib will
face Masters’ brother, Joshua, in the next round and the older
Masters, who turns 21 the same day, will be looking to avenge his
Jan Ryba is the other qualifier to reach the next round thanks to
victory over Iraq’s Ahmed Al Kiremli and he faces a difficult test
against local hero Aqeel Rehman as he bids to reach the
quarter-final stage of a PSA World Tour event for the first time in
The first qualifying round of the 2016 Austrian Open, PSA M5
tournament saw a solitary home player move through to the next round
with Christoph Ressel coming out on top in an all-Austrian affair
with Alexander Harml.
The tournament takes place on an all-glass court staged in the
Europark shopping mall in Salzburg and the gathered spectators were
treated to an entertaining and dramatic five-game battle that
eventually saw Ressel recover from a game down to win, recording the
victory courtesy of a 6-11, 11-3, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9 scoreline.
Up next for Ressel is a fixture against second qualifying seed
Elliot Selby, with the latter eyeing up a first main draw spot of
2016 after receiving a bye in round one of qualifying.
Local player Rudi Rohrmuller is also through after defeating
17-year-old Englishman Kyle Finch in four. Finch went a game to the
good after triumphing during a tense tie-break but German-born
Rohrmuller soon found his rhythm and went up a gear to take three
games without reply and complete the win in 45 minutes. Jami Äijänen
lies in wait for Rohrmuller in the next round thanks to his win
against Kevin Walander.
Elsewhere, Czech World No.251 Jan Ryba overcame Michael Zanner in a
straightforward 3-0 victory to set up a final qualifying round clash
with Iraq’s Ahmed Al Kiremli after the 34-year-old dispatched Manuel
Bradley Masters saw off Stephan Stocker to reach the next round and
will line up against Daniel Mekbib who will be hoping to take
advantage of a rest after he too was the recipient of a bye.