Doha: India’s World No.46 Ramit Tandon kicked off the 2021 edition of the Qatar Q-Terminals Classic in style with a hard-fought 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 12-14, 11-8 victory over Scotland’s World No.32 Greg Lobban.
The last time these two faced each other Tandon walked away with a 3-1 victory at the CIB Black Ball Squash Open earlier this year and the Indian kept up his winning streak over the Scot with a resilient performance in Doha.
29-year-old Tandon found himself 2-0 up after an accurate showing in quickfire exchanges against Lobban, who cut a frustrated figure on court. However, the Scottish player fought his way back into contention in the third before drawing back level on his fifth game ball attempt in the fourth.
The momentum looked as though it was fully in favour of Lobban in the fifth as he took the lead before Tandon turned things around to complete a topsy-turvy victory in 60 minutes.
For his part, England’s Patrick Rooney was forced to do things the hard way in his opening match against Hong Kong’s Tsz Fung Yip at the Qatar Classic as he came from 9-5 down in the fifth to triumph.
The two had met just last week at the Cleveland Skating Club Open where Rooney took a straight-forward 3-0 victory. However, the Hong Kong player came back with renewed determination this time around as he made things difficult for Rooney, twice coming back from a game down.
It appeared as though the 28-year-old was going to sneak it in the fifth when he powered into a 9-5 lead, but Rooney held his nerve to turn the tide and set up a second round match against India’s Ramit Tandon.
England’s Declan James ensured a safe passage through to the second round of the Qatar Classic PSA Platinum event after an 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 victory over wildcard Syed Azlan Amjad.
James, who has been absent from the last few PSA tournaments, did not suffer from a slow start in Doha as he comfortably overcame Amjad, who was one of two Qatari hopes in the event after the withdrawal of Qatar No.1 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi due to injury.
James will face Peru’s Diego Elias in the next round.
Germany’s World No.22 Raphael Kandra was in strong shape to open his 2021 Qatar Classic campaign as he saw off wildcard Abdulrahman Al-Malki in straight-games on the glass court at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex.
The 30-year-old wasted no time finding his accuracy as he comfortably moved past World No.126 Al-Malki in 22 minutes to march into the last 32.
India’s World No.55 Mahesh Mangaonkar has completed his first ever win at a PSA World Tour Platinum event after a commanding performance against Scotland’s Alan Clyne.
The 27-year-old from Mumbai had lost his last three matches to Clyne, including a 3-0 defeat to the World No.50 at the Cleveland Skating Club Open last week.
Spanish veteran Borja Golan earned his spot in the last 32 courtesy of a 3-1 victory over Todd Harrity of the United States.
The pair had never met on the PSA World Tour and it was 38-year-old Golan who had the better in the early stages, with ‘El Toro’ winning the first game on a tie-break before opening up a bigger gap to win the second.
Harrity steadied the ship in the third and played a faster pace, which enabled him to make a good start to the third and halve the deficit.
But Golan wasn’t to be denied and he dropped just two points in a one-sided fourth game to book his place in round two, where he will take on No.4 seed Marwan ElShorbagy.
Source: Qatar Olympic Committee