Selby Sinks Mosaad In Mighty Qatar Classic Upset
15 Nov 2016
England's Daryl Selby claimed one of his biggest wins in recent years when he despatched second seed Omar Mosaad, the world No.4 from Egypt, on the second day of first round action in the 2016 Qatar Classic, the third PSA World Series event of the season at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha.
The world No.19 from Essex squandered a one-game lead to go 2/1 down, but produced a spirited fight back to claim a huge 11-9, 5-11, 2-11, 11-9, 11-2 victory - his first win over Mosaad at the sixth attempt.
"It was tough as it always is, and it hasn't really sunk in yet, but I'm delighted obviously to beat him for the first time," said 34-year-old Selby.
"It was a similar match to the ones we've played in the past, they always seem to be five-gamers and they're always fairly physical. I expect that really because he's such a big guy. He's tough to play because he hits the ball so hard and so cleanly.
"Maybe I kept my head a little bit better in the fifth game and he looked a little bit despondent. He's lacking a little bit of confidence at the moment, whereas I've been having some decent results."
World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad got his tournament off to a winning start, leading fellow Egyptians Marwan Elshorbagy and Zahed Mohamed through to the second round, where there will be a five-strong Egyptian contingent after world No.1 Mohamed, Marwan's older brother, and world No.9 Tarek Momen claimed wins on the opening day of action.
Gawad, competing less than two weeks after defeating compatriot Ramy Ashour in the PSA Men's World Championship final in Cairo, went a game behind courtesy of some consistent play from fellow countryman Mohamed Reda, a qualifier.
But the 25-year-old found his range and showcased his sublime attacking talents to full effect as he won the next three games in comfortable fashion, taking the match 9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-3 to ensure that he will take on Zahed Mohamed - who beat England's Tom Richards - for a place in the quarter-finals.
"I was very, very tired after the World Championship," Gawad admitted.
"I finished on the Friday and then I had to travel on Monday to Qatar. I only had a couple of sessions in Qatar, I didn't have enough time to do loads of fitness, I just tried to relax my body and tried to recover."
World No.7 Marwan booked his place in round two after rising to a routine 3/0 win over Hong Kong's world No.41 Tsz Fung Yip.
Yip, who claimed a notable win over world No.8 Miguel Angel Rodriguez in August's Hong Kong Open, started brightly and went 3-0 ahead in the opening game before Elshorbagy took control, coming through 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 in 27 minutes. Elshorbagy junior will face Australian No.2 Ryan Cuskelly in the next round.
"I was very happy, it was my first time playing Yip, he's had a few good wins and I had to watch a few of his matches to study him," said Elshorbagy.
"I had to be careful from the beginning and not give him any chances as he would have taken them. I'm very happy to win in less than half an hour. There are no rest days for us in the bottom half, so it's perfect for me against Cuskelly."
Cuskelly made history at this tournament last year after he became the first player since 2001 to come through qualification and progress to the last four of a World Series tournament - and he required five games to see off world No.17 Max Lee.
Lee was irresistible early on as he swept to a one-game lead for the loss of three points, but a tenacious Cuskelly refused to bow down to the pressure as he battled back to go 2/1 ahead. The 29-year-old left-hander was unable to convert a match ball though, and Lee forced a decider, only to succumb to cramp as Cuskelly closed out a 3-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-13, 11-9 victory.
"I probably didn't play the best but I tried to stay solid and he gave me a few cheap ones in the end before he started cramping, so I was a bit lucky," Cuskelly admitted.
"Overall, I'm happy with the win. I've had a couple of bad results, so everything was going through my head. I could have lost it but I stayed strong in the fifth and snuck it."
Cuskelly will be joined in the next round by fellow Australian Cameron Pilley, who defeated Malaysian Nafiizwan Adnan in straight games. Pilley will face Cesar Salazar in round two after the Mexican beat Omar Abdel Meguid.
Qatar Classic image courtesy of www.squashpics.com