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Tomlinson Takes Out Knuutila in Winter Challenger Qualification


England’s Julian Tomlinson edged out local player Tatu Knuutila 3-2 in an extremely tight match in the final qualifying round of the Suez Helsinki Winter Challenger, PSA M5 event to reach the main draw.

Tomlinson, the top qualifying seed, had to fight tooth and nail throughout the gruelling encounter and was forced to go the whole distance against a player who was bidding to reach only his second PSA World Tour main draw since 2014.

World No.204 Tomlinson will now take his place in round one of the main draw against compatriot Joshua Masters who has a single PSA World Tour title to his name.

Representing his native Finland in the main draw is Jami Äijänen, who progressed courtesy of a surprise success against World No.240 Robert Dadds. His reward is a tie against title favourite Shehab Essam in the next round.

Elsewhere, Roshan Bharos cruised through to the main draw after disposing of Hendrik Vössing in an impressive 3-0 win but will have to be at his best to advance beyond the opening round of the main draw when he plays third seed Geoffrey Demont.

Finally, another shock result saw Bradley Masters, brother of Joshua, eliminate fellow Englishman and second qualifying seed Elliot Selby. Masters dominated from the off, taking the first game 11-1 before repelling any attempts from Selby to battle back. Masters will face Asim Khan in round one.

Results – Final Qualifying Round: Suez Helsinki Winter Challenger 2016
[1] Julian Tomlinson (ENG) bt [7] Tatu Knuutila (FIN) 3-2: 11-5, 10-12, 11-4, 5-11, 12-10
[6] Jami Äijänen (FIN) bt [3] Robert Dadds (ENG) 3-2: 8-11, 11-13, 11-4, 11-7, 11-5,
[4] Roshan Bharos (NED) bt Hendrik Vössing (GER) 3-0: 15-13, 11-6, 11-5
[5] Bradley Masters (ENG) bt [2] Elliot Selby (ENG) 3-0: 11-1, 11-6, 11-5

Main Draw – First Round
[1] Shehab Essam (EGY) v [Q] Jami Äijänen (FIN)
Miko Äijänen (FIN) v [8] Baptiste Masotti (FRA)
[5] Joshua Masters (ENG) v [Q] Julian Tomlinson (ENG)
[Q] Roshan Bharos (NED) v [3] Geoffrey Demont (FRA)
[4] Matthew Hopkin (AUS) v Kale Wilson (TRI)
[Q] Bradley Masters (ENG) v [7] Asim Khan (PAK)
[6] Ashley Davies (ENG) v [WC] Kristian Rautiainen (FIN)
Tristan Eysele (RSA) v [2] Aqeel Rehman (AUT)

By James Hall

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