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A packed crowd at the Birmingham Athletic Club watch Olli Tuominen and Christopher Gordon in action

Tuominen Halts US Hopes In Motor City


Experienced Finnish campaigner Olli Tuominen celebrated his 450th PSA World Tour match with a fine victory over American hopeful Christopher Gordon in the final round of qualification at the 2016 Motor City Open to move into the main draw of the PSA M70 tournament where he will now face Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet.

Tuominen came through a brutal opening game with American number two Gordon, squandering six game ball opportunities before eventually edging it 18-16, and he used momentum and Gordon’s waining physical attributes to his advantage to control proceedings in the following two games as he stormed to a straight-games victory.

“It was quite brutal,” Tuominen said. “I was a bit nervous but I’m happy that I managed to get it back and win the first game.”

American number one Todd Harrity joined Gordon on the exit row after he lost 3-1 to Hong Kong’s Leo Au. Harrity started strong and managed to take the opening game but Au changed his game plan, utilising his speed and skill to force Harrity into an excessive amount of work and it paid dividends as he took the next three games to move into the main draw to line up against compatriot Max Lee.

In the most entertaining match of the day it was Pakistan’s Nasir Iqbal who won a second consecutive five-game thriller, twice relinquishing a game advantage before eventually defeating compatriot Farhan Zaman.

Zaman had beaten Iqbal in last month’s Pakistani National Championship and looked like he was on course to record a second consecutive win over the 21-year-old, Pakistan’s highest ranked player, after levelling the match at 2-2 and played with momentum on his side in the fifth as he found himself with match-ball in hand.

Iqbal fought back, though, and he eventually won the final game 12-10, after Zaman struck the tin attempting a drop shot, to secure a place in the main draw.

“It was a really good match,” Iqbal said. “He’s so aggressive. In the fifth game I was down, but I was able to concentrate and get the game.”

Results – Qualifying Finals: Motor City Open, PSA M70 Tournament 
[7] Olli Tuominen (FIN) bt Christopher Gordon (USA) 3-0: 18-16, 11-8, 11-7
[5] Diego Elias (PER) bt [3] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 3-1: 3-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6
[4] Nasir Iqbal (PAK) bt Farhan Zaman (PAK) 3-2: 11-3, 9-11, 11-8, 11-13, 12-10
[2] Leo Au (HKG) bt [8] Todd Harrity (USA) 3-1: 7-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8

Draw – First Round:
[1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
[Q] Diego Elias (PER) v [7] Ali Farag (EGY)
[5] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v [Q] Nasir Iqbal (PAK)
[Q] Olli Tuominen (FIN) v [3] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
[4] Max Lee (HKG) v [Q] Leo Au (HKG)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) v [6] Borja Golan (ESP)
[8] Chris Simpson (ENG) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [2] Nick Matthew (ENG)

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