Crafty Al Tamimi packs off another ranked player
Qatari player knocks out Frenchman Castagnet in straight games to enter round of 16 at PSA World Championships.
Qatar’s Abdullah Al Tamimi crossed his second hurdle with unexpected ease to enter the round of 16 in the PSA Men’s World Squash Championship at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex on Saturday.
Al Tamimi was simply exceptional as he posted a 12-10, 11-8, 11-5 win over France’s Mathieu Castagnet. The Qatari had answers to everything the higher-ranked (28) Frenchman came up with, powering to victory and raising his hands in celebration.
He also expressed his thanks to the fans at the stadium in Arabic, something which he said he was not used to doing.
- Tarek Momen (2, Egypt) bt Mazen Hesham (Egypt) 11-9, 12-10, 11-5
- Abdullah Al Tamimi (Qatar) bt Mathieu Castagnet (France) 12-10, 11-8, 11-5
- Simon Rosner (5, Germany) bt James Declan (England) 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9
- Karim Abdel Gawad (3, Egypt) bt Cesar Salazar (Mexico) 10-12, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7
- Faris Dessouky (Egypt) bt Edmon Lopez (Denmark) 11-9, 11-4, 11-6
- Diego Elias (Peru) bt Greg Lobban (Scotland) 11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8.
“It’s not easy to win in straight games against Castagnet. He is one of the world’s top ranked players and to win any match in three games is a relief,” said Al Tamimi.
While the Qatari player switched gears nicely midway through the match and was superb going into the finish, the start was not something he will be happy about. Al Tamimi was always doing the catching up job but once he gained the much-needed edge after winning the first game, he played much better in the second half.
“I was a little nervous at the start and was trying too hard to control the game. But then I allowed myself to swing freely and things got much easier,” said Al Tamimi.
Al Tamimi had to battle hard for his points to dominate the second game. He explained as to where he came up trumps against the Frenchman.
“Castagnet was indulging in the rallies and I knew if I too did that I would get tired as he‘s one of the fittest guys on the tour. So, I attacked, which is the way I like to play and it paid off,” he said.
The Qatari player was outstanding with his drops on the day. He timed them to perfection and was precise in placement. Castagnet was caught short too many times for his own comfort and it earned the Tamimi some key points. The two-game deficit dented the Frenchman’s confidence and try as he could, he could not wrest control and tamely went down in the third game.
Al Tamimi next plays the second seed Tarek Momen of Egypt on Monday. He had stretched the Egyptian to five games in the US Open in October.
“I have no pressure, I can play freely as he is a higher-ranked player than me. The only thing is a day’s break between the matches. We are used to playing back-to-back matches but at this level you have to adapt and carry on,” said Al Tamimi.