Matthew & Duncalf Celebrate Qatar Classic Double


In a sensational day for English squash at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in the Qatar capital Doha, Nick Matthew and Jenny Duncalf both beat higher-ranked opponent in today's (Monday) finals of the Qatar Classic in straight games, to claim their biggest titles on the international Tours.


Matthew, fourth seed in the men's $147,500 PSA World Tour Super Series event, knocked out Karim Darwish, the defending champion from Egypt who has topped the world rankings for most of this year. 


Earlier Duncalf, who like Matthew is also from Yorkshire, followed her second upset in two weeks over Malaysia's world number one Nicol David yesterday, to crush Australia's world No4 Rachael Grinham in the climax of the $74,000 WISPA World Tour championship.


Indeed, it took 27-year-old Duncalf, the world No6 from Harrogate, only 23 minutes to despatch Grinham 11-5, 11-3, 11-3 Ė thus reducing the 8-4 career head-to-head lead the Queenslander boasted before today's clash.


The stunning victory brings Duncalf's tally of Tour wins this month to three Ė following the Soho Square Championship success in Egypt on the first of the month, and her triumph in the US Open in New York just seven days later. 


Winner of the British National Championship at the beginning of the year, Duncalf has enjoyed a remarkably consistent run on the WISPA Tour since last year's appearance in the Qatar Classic in October 2008 Ė reaching at least the quarter-finals in the 16 events since.


"I think it was a combination of me playing well and Rachael not being on today - she wasn't moving well and made quite a few errors," Duncalf said after her career-best success. 


"It's a funny sort of win - there's no adrenalin pumping or anything - but I've won the Qatar Classic, even though I can't quite believe it yet!


"I was thinking beforehand that this would be my 13th win a row, hoping it wouldn't be unlucky 13!  I wish there was another tournament next week now!"


Nick Matthew has enjoyed a stunning return to top form after a nine-month layoff following shoulder surgery at the beginning of last year.  But top seed Darwish boasted a 3-1 head-to-head record over the 29-year-old from Sheffield going into today's meeting.


However, while Matthew prevailed in a semi-final which lasted only a game and a half after his England team-mate opponent Peter Barker was forced to retire injured, Darwish reached the final following two hard five-game battles over former world champions Thierry Lincou, of France, and compatriot Ramy Ashour.


The final took 51 minutes, but it was Matthew who emerged triumphant in an 11-5, 12-10, 11-6 scoreline.


"Karim is such a great champion, heís been the world number one for a long time and heís played some fantastic games over the past years," said the new Qatar Classic men's champion.  "Today, he was bound to be tired, having had had a couple of three-twos with Thierry and Ramy.


"I know Iíve had a bit of 'bad luck' recently with my injuries Ė but, for me, the glass is always half full.  Actually, itís always three-quarters full!  I never let myself feel sorry for myself;  there are things much more important that can happen to you than a little injury.  Look at (Anthony) Ricketts and (Lee) Beachill - they had to give up because they had major troubles, so as long as itís little things like that, Iím not complaining," added Matthew.


"I really would like to thank Neil (Guirey) who was here with me this week; my team back in Sheffield; and DP [David Pearson] for all the efforts theyíve been doing with me since I was a teenager.  Itís nights like this one that makes it all worthwhile for us all."


The Qatar triumph brings Matthew's career Tour tally to ten titles, including the Swedish Open and British Open trophies this year.



Men's Draw
Women's Draw

. Final
. Semis

. Quarters

. 2nd Round
. 1st Round

2008 Event
2007 Event


Qatar Classic 2009
Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex, Doha
Men's Draw $147,000
Round One
19 Nov
Round Two
20 Nov
21 Nov
22 Nov
23 Nov
[1] Karim Darwish (Egy)
11/9, 13/11, 11/7
Daryl Selby (Eng)
Karim Darwish
11/8, 11/6, 11/4 (34m)
Cameron Pilley
Karim Darwish
11-4, 9-11, 14-12, 6-11, 11-8 (83m)
Thierry Lincou
Karim Darwish
11-5, 4-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7 (64m)
Ramy Ashour
Karim Darwish
11-5, 12-10, 11-6 (51m)
Nick Matthew
[16] Cameron Pilley (Aus)
11/5, 11/6, 11/2 (35m
[Q] Chris Ryder (Eng)
[8] Thierry Lincou (Fra)
9/11, 11/2, 11/4, 11/4 (45m)
[Q] Simon Rosner (Ger)
Thierry Lincou
11/8, 11/4, 11/6 (40m)
Hisham Ashour
[10] Adrian Grant (Eng)
11/7, 7/11, 11/8, 11/7 (51m)
Hisham Ashour (Egy)
[4] Ramy Ashour (Egy)
11/2, 11/2, 11/5
Abdul Salem Al-Malki (Qat)
Ramy Ashour
 11/6, 11/7, 11/8 (39m)
Wael El Hindi
Ramy Ashour
11-5, 11-9, 13-11 (43m)
James Willstrop
[12] Wael El Hindi (Egy)
11/8, 11/7, 11/8 (47m)
Farhan Mehboob (Pak)
[7] James Willstrop (Eng)
12/10, 12/10, 11/4 (44m)
[Q] Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
James Willstrop
11/5, 11/7, 11/0 (26m)
Tarek Momen
[11] Alister Walker (Eng)
6/11, 10/12, 11/6, 11/5, 11/8 (60m)
[Q] Tarek Momen (Egy)
[Q] Renan Lavigne (Fra)
11/4, 11/6, 11/9
[15] Stewart Boswell (Aus)
Stewart Boswell
12/10, 11/9, 12/10 (54m)
David Palmer
David Palmer
11-8, 10-12, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8 (87m)
Nick Matthew
Nick Matthew
11-5, 8-2 ret.
Peter Barker
[Q] Eric Galvez (Mex)
[6] David Palmer (Aus)
[Q] Mark Krajcsak (Hun)
11/1, 11/2, 11/6
[14] Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
Laurens Jan Anjema
11/8, 11/6, 11/8 (44m)
Nick Matthew
Jonathan Kemp (Eng)
5/11, 12/10, 11/6, 11/7 (46m)
[4] Nick Matthew (Eng)
Olli Tuominen (Fin)
11/5, 8/11, 7/11, 11/3, 11/8 (61m)
[13] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy)
Olli Tuominen
11/4, 11/3, 1/11, 11/3 (41m)
Peter Barker
Peter Barker
11-5, 11-6, 12-10 (40m)
Aamir Atlas Khan
[Q] Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy)
11/6, 11/3, 11/5 (33m)
[9] Peter Barker (Eng)
Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
11/5, 11/6, 9/11, 11/8
Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak)
Aamir Atlas Khan
11/6, 7/11, 12/10, 11/9 (53m)
Gregory Gaultier
Joey Barrington (Eng)
11/7, 11/7, 11/4 (37m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)


Men's qualifying finals:

Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Yasir Butt (PAK) 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 (32m)

Simon Rosner (GER) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 11-7, 11-8, 3-11, 11-3 (41m)

Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Mansoor Zaman (PAK) 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 (32m)

Chris Ryder (ENG) bt Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 15-13, 11-8, 12-10 (68m)

Eric Galvez (MEX) bt Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 11-4, 6-11, 11-6, 11-13, 15-13 (97m)

Mark Krajcsak (HUN) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 11-2, 11-7, 11-5 (41m)

Renan Lavigne (FRA) bt Martin Knight (NZL) 11-7, 11-1, 11-5 (50m)

Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 11-9, 11-7, 11-6 (42m)



Qatar Classic 2009
Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex, Doha
Women's Draw 
Round One
19 Nov
Round Two
20 Nov
21 Nov
22 Nov
23 Nov
[1] Nicol David (Mas)
11/3, 11/8,11/6 (22m)
[Q] Low Wee Wern (Mas)
Nicol David
11/9, 11/6, 12/10 (28m)
Jaclyn Hawkes
Nicol David
11-8, 5-11, 11-13, 11-3, 11-8 (60m)
Laura Massaro
Nicol David
11-6, 2-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-6 (54m)
Jenny Duncalf
Jenny Duncalf
11-5, 11-3, 11-3 (23m)
Rachael Grinham
[11] Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl)
11/8, 11/5, 11/4 (27m)
Suzie Pierrepont (Eng)
[7] Laura Massaro (Eng)
11/9, 11/5, 12/10 (29m)
[Q] Dipika Pallikal (Ind)
Laura Massaro
11/8, 10/12, 11/9, 12/10 (54m)
Tania Bailey
[16] Tania Bailey (Eng)
11/8, 9/11, 11/5, 11/4 (35m)
[Q] Alana Miller (Can)
[4] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
11/3, 11/8, 11/8 (19m)
[Q] Annelize Nauť (Ned)
Jenny Duncalf
11/3, 11/8, 11/6 (23m)
Rebecca Chiu
Jenny Duncalf
11-4, 11-9, 11-4 (27m)
Engy Kheirallah
[14] Rebecca Chiu (Hkg)
8/11, 11/3, 11/9, 7/11, 11/6 (48m)Dominique Lloyd-Walter (Eng)
[6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
11/6, 11/7, 11/6 (30m)
Engy Kheirallah (Egy)
Engy Kheirallah
11/6, 11/1, 7/11, 11/9 (45m)
Isabelle Stoehr
[10] Isabelle Stoehr (Fra)
11/8, 9/11, 14/12, 8/11, 11/9
Donna Urquhart (Aus)
Delia Arnold (Mas)
10/12, 11/9, 11/3, 11/7 (42m)
[15] Camille Serme (Fra)
Camille Serme
11/4, 11/5, 11/8 (36m)
Madeline Perry
 Madeline Perry
8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8 (69m)
Alison Waters
Madeline Perry
11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (29m)
Rachael Grinham
[Q] Joelle King (Nzl)
6/11, 11/9, 14/12, 11/6 (58m)
[5] Madeline Perry (Irl)
Sarah Kippax (Eng)
12/10, 11/9, 9/11, 12/10 (60m)
[13] Samantha Teran (Mex)
Samantha Teran
11/6, 11/9, 11/6 (26m)
Alison Waters
[Q] Joey Chan (Hkg)
11/3, 11/5, 11/8 (21m)
[3] Alison Waters (Eng)
Line Hansen (Den)
11/4, 16/14, 11/7
[10] Vanessa Atkinson (Ned)
Vanessa Atkinson
11/9, 11/9, 8/11, 11/5 (41m)
Kasey Brown
Vanessa Atkinson
11-9, 11-8, 11-5 (26m)
Rachael Grinham
Raneem El Weleily (Egy)
11/6, 11/2, 11/8 (26m)
[8] Kasey Brown (Aus)
[Q] Lucie Fialova (Cze)
11/8, 11/4, 11/7 (25m)
[12] Annie Au (Hkg)
Annie Au
11/7, 11/2, 11/6 (24m)
Rachael Grinham
[Q] Emma Beddoes (Eng)
11/5, 10/12, 11/8, 11/4 (35m)
[2] Rachael Grinham (Aus)


Women's qualifying finals:

Joelle King (NZL) bt Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 13-11, 13-11, 11-5 (47m)

Joey Chan (HKG) bt Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) 11-9, 11-3, 11-7 (23m)

Alana Miller (CAN) bt Joshna Chinappa (IND) 5-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 (33m)

Emma Beddoes (ENG) bt Christina Mak (HKG) 11-8, 11-4, 11-2 (25m)

Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt Olga Ertlova (CZE) 11-4, 11-9, 11-9 (32m)

Annelize Naude (NED) bt Heba El Torky (EGY) 7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 12-10 (46m)

Lucie Fialova (CZE) bt Orla Noom (NED) 11-9, 7-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-4 (57m)

Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt Sharon Wee (MAS) 11-5, 9-11, 11-1, 11-2 (27m)



Duncalf Delivers Double David Defeat In Doha


England's Jenny Duncalf celebrated her second upset over Nicol David in two weeks when she beat the world number one from Malaysia in five games in the women's semi-finals of the Qatar Classic, the $74,000 WISPA World Tour squash event at Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in the Qatar capital Doha.


The 27-year-old fourth seed from Harrogate in Yorkshire - who becomes the first player to beat the formidable David twice in succession since February 2006 - will now meet Australia's No2 seed Rachael Grinham in the final.


There will also be English interest in the final of the men's $147,500 PSA World Tour Super Series event where fourth seed Nick Matthew, also from Yorkshire, will face Egypt's defending champion Karim Darwish, the top seed.


Jenny Duncalf is enjoying the most consistent phase of her career - her berth in the last eight in Doha marking her 16th successive quarter-final appearance on the WISPA Tour since last year's Qatar Classic.  And, after beating David for the first time in 19 attempts en-route to winning the US Open title for the first time earlier this month in New York, all eyes were on the pair's return match in Doha.


After dropping the first game, David took the next two and seemed to be back in control - on course to win the prestigious title for the fourth year in a row. 


But Duncalf, no longer overawed by the 26-year-old from Penang who celebrated her 40th consecutive month at the top of the world rankings this month, regrouped and ultimately closed out the match 11-6, 2-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-6 after 54 minutes.


"She had a pretty hard match against Laura yesterday - and I saw the heavy strap on her leg - so I donít think she was at her best there," Duncalf said later.  "Still, she picks up more shots than everybody else on the tour!


"I was lucky in New York.  I had such a gap that, when I started having the 'oh-my-God-Iím-going-to-win-against-Nicol-for-the-first-time-ever' thoughts, I was way ahead.


"But today, I didnít have that gap, and I think it was an extremely good thing I already had a win - because I was able to keep it together at the end," added Duncalf, now in the 12th Tour final of her career and one match away from her third title success of the month!


Former world number one Rachael Grinham took just 29 minutes to ease into the 53rd WISPA final of her career, ending the brave run of Ireland's Madeline Perry


The fifth seed from Belfast ousted England's No3 seed Alison Waters in the previous round.  But Grinham was too strong in the semi, winning 11-6, 11-8, 11-7.


There was a more successful outcome for the title-holder in the men's event where favourite Karim Darwish prevailed 11-5, 4-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7 in 64 minutes over fellow Egyptian Ramy Ashour, the third seed.


"We always have big matches, Ramy and I - we know each otherís game pretty inside out," said Darwish, winner of the Qatar title for the first time last year and now in the 27th Tour final of his career.  "And when you are playing against such a great player as Ramy, if you are not 100% body wise, youíve got to be smart!"


Darwish, who lost his world number one ranking this month to Frenchman Gregory Gaultier, will face Nick Matthew in the Englishman's first appearance in the final.


The 29-year-old from Sheffield took the opening game against England team-mate Peter Barker and was ahead in the second when the eighth-seeded Londoner was forced to concede the match - with the score standing at 11-5, 8-2 - due to a leg injury sustained at the Santiago Open earlier in the month. 


Matthew is now celebrating his sixth appearance in a PSA final this year - and, with 2009 Tour successes already in the Swedish Open and British Open (and non-Tour triumphs in the World Games and British National Championships), the England number one's confidence will be at an all-time high.



Anglo/Egyptian Men's Final Guaranteed In Doha Classic


The surprise appearance of Londoner Peter Barker in the men's semi-finals of the Qatar Classic ensures an Anglo/Egyptian line-up in the final of the $147,500 PSA World Tour Super Series squash event at Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in the Qatar capital Doha.


There will be unexpected Irish interest in the last four of the $74,000 WISPA World Tour event after fifth seed Madeline Perry upset England's third seed Alison Waters in the earlier women's quarter-finals.


Eighth seed Peter Barker claimed his semi-final place after ending giant-killer Aamir Atlas Khan's run.  It was the 16th seed from Peshawar who grabbed the headlines 24 hours earlier by ousting new world number one Gregory Gaultier in a stunning four-game upset.


But the 19-year-old was unable to repeat the form against experienced 26-year-old Barker as the left-hander, ranked nine in the world, cruised to an 11-5, 11-6, 12-10 victory in 40 minutes.


Barker will now take on England team-mate Nick Matthew, the No4 seed who was stretched for 87 minutes by Australian David Palmer, four times a runner-up in the Doha event, before finally beating the fifth seed 11-8, 10-12, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8.


But the most dramatic men's quarter-final match saw favourite and defending champion Karim Darwish edge out French rival Thierry Lincou, the No7 seed, in an 83-minute marathon.  It was the pair's 12th Tour meeting since April 2002 - but it was not until August 2007 that Darwish, now 28, claimed his first win over the Frenchman, now 33, and maintained the upper hand over the next four matches before this meeting.


But Darwish had to throw everything he had at the former world champion from Marseille before emerging triumphant 11-4, 9-11, 14-12, 6-11, 11-8.


"He is stronger than me I think," a relieved Darwish said afterwards.  "Just think - he is five years older than me!  He is a great champion.


"Thierry is so mentally strong, after the third, I honestly thought he would give up, but instead of that, I was the one that relaxed! I played three great shots at the start, and that was it."


Darwish will face national rival Ramy Ashour, the 22-year-old third seed from Cairo who won the title in his maiden appearance in the event in 2007.


Ashour, runner-up in the World Open in Kuwait earlier in the month, beat England's sixth seed James Willstrop 11-5, 11-9, 13-11.


Madeline Perry is consistently playing above her seeding since making a breakthrough at this year's British Open where she secured a surprise place in the final following a shock defeat of Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia.


The 32-year-old from Belfast fought back from a game down to beat in-form Londoner Alison Waters 8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8 in 69 minutes to reach the semis for the first time.


The ten times Irish national champion will now face Australia's second seed Rachael Grinham for a place in the final.  In their 25th Tour clash since July 1999, the second-seeded Queenslander beat two-time champion Vanessa Atkinson, the ninth seed from the Netherlands, 11-9, 11-8, 11-5.


The other women's semi-final is a repeat of the US Open semi-final earlier this month - when England's Jenny Duncalf ended an 18-match losing streak to Nicol David by beating the world's top player in straight games.


David needed exactly an hour to keep alive her hopes of a fourth successive title success in Qatar.  The 26-year-old from Penang beat England's seventh seed Laura Massaro 11-8, 5-11, 11-13, 11-3, 11-8.


Meanwhile fourth seed Duncalf ended Engy Kheirallah's impressive run in Doha, beating the unseeded Egyptian 11-4, 11-9, 11-4.


2nd Round

Khan Captures Career-Best Scalp In Qatar Crash


Pakistan teenager Aamir Atlas Khan celebrated the best win of his career when he beat second seed Gregory Gaultier in the second round of the Qatar Classic to deny the new world number one from France a place in the quarter-finals of the $147,500 PSA World Tour Super Series squash event at Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in the Qatar capital Doha for the first time since 2003.


Gaultier, who has reached eight Tour final in the past 12 months, moved to the top of the PSA world rankings at the beginning of this month.  The 26-year-old from Aix-en-Provence recovered from losing the first game to draw level - then dropped the third game in a tie-break.


But Atlas Khan, the 19-year-old 16th seed from Peshawar, was playing the best squash of his life and maintained his focus to record his 11-6, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9 victory after 53 minutes.


"This is the biggest moment of my career," Khan said afterwards.  "I really didnít expect it, because Greg has been playing so well recently - he is such a great champion."


Aamir, the son of British Amateur Championship finalist Atlas Khan and a nephew of former world number one Jansher Khan, is Pakistan's top-ranked player after reaching a career-high world No13 ranking in September.


"Today, I spoke with my dad on the phone right before the match, and he told me, 'listen, you can win this - youíve got the talent, youíve got the stamina'.  I kept focusing on that during the whole match, and thinking how lucky I was to belong to such a Squash family. And that really carried me through."


Khan will now face eighth seed Peter Barker for a place in the semi-finals.  The left-hander from London defeated unseeded Finn Olli Tuominen 11-4, 11-3, 1-11, 11-3.


Egypt's unseeded Engy Kheirallah maintained her progress in the women's $74,000 WISPA World Tour event.  The 27-year-old from Cairo, who ousted her country's number one Omneya Abdel Kawy in the first round, battled for 45 minutes to beat France's 10th seed Isabelle Stoehr 11-6, 11-1, 7-11, 11-9 to reach the Doha quarter-finals for the first time.


Back at the venue where she won the title in 2004 and 2005, Dutch star Vanessa Atkinson recorded a notable upset when she beat eight-seeded Australian Kasey Brown.  Now combining her squash career with studies for an English Literature degree at University in Leeds in the UK, the ninth seed despatched Brown 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 11-5 to set up a quarter-final meeting with Australia's No2 seed Rachael Grinham.


1st Round
Seeds Suffer In Qatar Classic Upsets


Tarek Momen, a 21-year-old qualifier from Egypt, led a trio of men's upsets on the opening day of main draw action in the Qatar Classic, the $147,500 PSA World Tour Super Series squash event at Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in the Qatar capital Doha.


An Egyptian also produced the sole surprise in the women's $74,000 WISPA World Tour championship when unseeded Engy Kheirallah despatched her sixth-seeded national team-mate Omneya Abdel Kawy in straight games.


But Cairo-based University student Tarek Momen stole the headlines with his stunning victory over England's rising star Alister Walker, the tenth seed.  But Momen was not an unknown quantity - as the Electronic Engineering student at the American University in Cairo upset leading Australian David Palmer in the biggest shock in the Kuwait World Open earlier this month.


In Doha, Momen recovered from two games down to beat the world No12 from Leeds 6-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 in exactly one hour.


"Iím happy and surprised," Momen said afterwards.  "Alister is such a good player - the last time I saw him play, he beat Shabana in Cairo and played amazing squash!  Overall, Iím very happy."


Walker was measured in his response:  "I am disappointed, yes, but not devastated.  My preparation was good - and it will be for my next event too."


There was further disappointment for England - and more unexpected success for Egypt - when unseeded Hisham Mohd Ashour ousted ninth-seeded Londoner Adrian Grant 11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7.  The result was Ashour's second victory over the world No11 this month after also beating Grant in Kuwait.


But it wasn't all smiles for Egypt in the men's event in Doha where teenager Mohamed El Shorbagy failed to make the last 16.  The 18-year-old from Alexandria, the youngest player in the draw, squandered a 2/1 lead against Olli Tuominen and went down 11-5, 8-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-3 to the unseeded Finn.


The shock in the women's event was perhaps not a surprise to the players themselves.  On paper, sixth seed Omneya Abdel Kawy should have brushed aside her unseeded Alexandria opponent Engy Kheirallah - but the world No7 from Cairo has yet to beat her Egyptian team-mate on the WISPA Tour in four meetings in the last four years.


And history was repeated as Kheirallah cruised to an 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 win over her country's top player to earn a surprise place in the second round.


All eyes were on favourite Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia who suffered a rare defeat in the US Open in New York earlier this month.  But the top seed was in sparkling form as she dismissed fellow Penangite Low Wee Wern, a 19-year-old qualifier, 11-3, 11-8, 11-6.


And Jenny Duncalf, David's conqueror in New York, also moved comfortably into the last 16.  The fourth seed from Harrogate defeated Dutch qualifier Annelize Naude 11-3, 11-8, 11-8 to get one place closer to a predicted semi-final clash with her Malaysian rival. 


Aziz & Pallikal Lead Upsets In Qatar Classic Qualifiers


Both the second seeds in the qualifying finals of the Qatar Classic crashed out as Egyptian Omar Abdel Aziz and Indian teenager Dipika Pallikal earned surprise places in the main draws of one of the year's biggest men's and women's international squash circuit events at Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in the Qatar capital Doha.


Abdel Aziz, ranked 42 in the world, dashed Tom Richards' hopes on the last day of qualifying in the men's $147,500 PSA World Tour Super Series event Ė beating the world No31 from England 11-9, 11-7, 11-6 in 42 minutes. 


The 26-year-old from Cairo will now face England's No8 seed Peter Barker in the first round.


But England's Chris Ryder became the lowest-ranked player to make it into the men's main draw: The 29-year-old from Leamington Spa, the world No 43, defeated Malaysian Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan 15-13, 11-8, 12-10 in 68 minutes Ė and will now line up against Australia's 15th seed Cameron Pilley, ranked 28 places higher.


Dipika Pallikal, the world No48 from Chennai, became the youngest player to line up in the main draw of the women's $74,000 WISPA World Tour championship.   The 18-year-old despatched Malaysian Sharon Wee, ranked 31 in the world, 11-5, 9-11, 11-1, 11-2 in 27 minutes.


Pallikal, a successful qualifier for the first time after an unsuccessful attempt early in 2007, will now do battle with England's Laura Massaro, the seventh seed.


Czech outsider Lucie Fialova survived a 57-minute marathon against Orla Noom to beat her higher-ranked Dutch opponent 11-9, 7-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-4. 


The 21-year-old from Prague, ranked 59 in the world, becomes the lowest-ranked player in the women's draw, where she faces 12th seed Annie Au, a Qatar Classic debutante from Hong Kong.

David and Darwish Eye To Retain Doha Title

World no1 Nicol David eyes to defend the Qatar Classic title which begins here at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex from November 19-23, 2009.

The defending champion is lined-up with No2 Natalie Grinham of Netherlands for the USD 74,000 prize money.

The 26-year-old superstar, David, beat the Dutch with a flawless straight games 11-6, 11-3, 11-9 in last yearís Qatar Classic final.

The top-seed Malaysian ace, who last month (September) became world champion for the fourth time, extends her lead at the top of the October Women's World Rankings, the latest list published by the Women's International Squash Players' Association (WISPA).

In menís entry list, defending champion and world no1 Karim Darwish of Egypt will look forward to retain the title and strengthen his lead for the world ranking.

The Cairo-based, Darwish, defeated compatriot and current world no3 Amr Shabana in the final last year.

Darwish meets Englishman Daryl Selby in the first round match on November 19.

The other star attraction, world no2 Frenchman Gregory Gaultier takes on Aamir Atlas Khan of Pakistan in the first round, while third seed Shabana faces Englishman Jonathan Kemp in the opening match.