Doha, Qatar's most successful player and home favourite, Abdullah Mohammed Al Tamimi, claimed a deserved victory against France's Gregoire Marche 3-1 (11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9) in the opening round of the prestigious PSA Men's World Championship at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex on Friday.
Currently ranked No. 46, the 24-year-old player, who reached a career-high world ranking of 28 in August 2018, ensured that the difference in ranking between him and his opponent counted for nothing as he dispatched the 14th-ranked Frenchman in 50mins inside the glass court of the ultra-modern complex to send the home fans wild in jubilation for the wonderful feat.
I am very proud of today's victory and I am happier with the way I handled the pressure and came out triumphant. I intend to continue in this form and go as far as possible. The win is no doubt a confidence booster and I believe greater things lie ahead for me at this tournament," Tamimi, the former Aspire Academy graduate, said.
While Tamimi won, his compatriot Hamad Al Amri, however, suffered a straight set (11-4, 11-4, 11-3) defeat in the hands of New Zealand's Paul Coll, the tournament's fourth-seeded player.
On the other, Qatar Sayyed Amjad also qualified to the second round after beating Iker Bernabeu of Spain in the first round.
Tournament top-seed Mohamed ElShorbagy and 2016 World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad were emphatic in their first round victories at the PSA Men's World Championship on Friday as they posted straight set victories against their opponents � Frenchmen Victor Crouin and Auguste Dussourd respectively.
While former World No.1 and 2017 champion ElShorbagy claimed a 3-0 (11-8, 11-6, 11-7) triumph against Crouin, his Egyptian compatriot Gawad defeated World No.63 Dussourd (11-4, 11-8, 13-11).
For Gawad, it is a continuation of the red-hot form which saw him emerge champion at the CIB Egyptian Squash Open last week in Cairo. Dussourd, who qualified for the event after winning the Aspin Cup, showed some nice touches, but didn't have the consistency to stick with Gawad over the course of the 28-minute match, and the Egyptian progresses to take on Mexico's Cesar Salazar for a spot in the third round of the $335,000 total prize purse tournament.
For ElShorbagy, who is hoping to be third time lucky after previously losing twice in the final of the World Championship to the same opponent Ramy Ashour (2012 and 2014) in the Qatari capital, the win probably posited a sign of good things to come particularly with the absence of World No.1 Ali Farag who unfortunately could not make the trip to Doha due to personal bereavement.
I'm happy with the victory and I hope to continue in this fine form. Playing in Doha has always been exciting and I hope to be lucky this time around," said the 28-year-old player.
Meanwhile, second-seed Tarek Momen made it 3-1 (12-10, 10-12, 11-7, 11-4) against Germany's Raphael Kandra in 52 mins of exciting action to ensure a perfect scaling through for the three top-seeded players in the opening round.
Source: Qatar Olympic Committee