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Bong and Idrakie Take Out Home Players in Oregon Open Qualifying


Malaysian duo Valentino Bong and Addeen Idrakie overcame United States pair Julian Illingworth and Charlie Johnson, respectively on American soil to advance to the main draw of the Oregon Open, PSA M15 tournament.

Bong, who also dashed home hopes in the opening round of qualifying when he defeated Nicolas Talbott, took on local star Illingworth in a high-octane opening to the match that saw both players tied up at a game apiece. From that point on though, mistakes started to creep in to Illingworth’s game and Bong took full advantage with some stylish winners allowing him to complete the victory with an 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6 scoreline. Illingworth has benefitted from an injury to main draw player Shaun Le Roux though and will take his place in the next round against second seed Karim Ali Fathi.

He will go up against a third consecutive United States player in the first round of the main draw, the nation’s number one player Todd Harrity, in what looks set to be a difficult encounter for the 26-year-old.

Idrakie’s clash with Johnson, meanwhile, was a mammoth 124-minute affair that saw both combatants partake in a series of energy-sapping rallies. After falling to a 2-0 deficit, Idrakie roared back with a performance that showcased his impressive mental fortitude to take three games without reply, including a brutal 16-14 triumph in the fourth. The World No.125 is rewarded with a tie against the main draw’s top seed, Omar Abdel Meguid, who is searching for a second successive PSA World Tour title.

Finland’s Matias Tuomi has also secured his place in the next round after beating Sean Conroy 3-1 and he moves on to face Eric Galvez for a place in the main draw’s quarter-final.

Elsewhere, Indian 26-year-old Vikram Malhotra followed up his impressive dismantling of Sunny Seth in the first round of qualifying to down Faraz Khan in straight games. Malhotra, who won the Betty Griffin Memorial Florida Open on his most recent PSA World Tour appearance, will kick off his main draw campaign against Christopher Gordon.

Results – Final Qualifying Round: Oregon Open 2016
[5] Valentino Bong (MAS) bt [4] Julian Illingworth (USA) 3-1: 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6 (50m)
Vikram Malhotra (IND) bt Faraz Khan (USA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-2, 11-6 (30m)
[2] Matias Tuomi (FIN) bt [8] Sean Conroy (IRL) 3-1: 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 11-5 (55m)
[1] Addeen Idrakie (MAS) bt [7] Charlie Johnson (USA) 3-2: 8-11, 2-11, 11-7, 16-14, 11-7 (124m)

Main Draw – First Round
[1] Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) v [Q] Addeen Idrakie (MAS)
[WC] Sam Gould (USA) v [7] Arturo Salazar (MEX)
[6] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) v Joe Chapman (IVB)
Shahjahan Khan (PAK) v [3] Raphael Kandra (GER)
[4] Todd Harrity (USA) v [Q] Valentino Bong (MAS)
[Q] Vikram Malhotra (IND) v [5] Christopher Gordon (USA)
[8] Eric Galvez (MEX) v [Q] Matias Tuomi (FIN)
[LL] Julian Illingworth (USA) v [2] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)

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