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Qualifying Begins in Atlanta

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The opening qualifying round of the Life Time Atlanta Open, PSA M10 tournament saw local player Ahmed Hanza move through to within one win of a main draw berth after defeating fifth qualifying seed Adnan Gul 3-1.

Hamza was in fine fettle throughout the four-game encounter but, after going a game ahead, found himself pegged back by his opponent. A virtuoso display in game three saw Hamza win it without dropping a single point though and he used that momentum as a springboard to wrap up the triumph courtesy of an 11-9, 9-11, 11-0, 11-7 scoreline.

He will go up against number two seed Babatunde Ajagbe for a place in the main draw with Ajagbe likely to be well rested after he received a bye in the opening round of qualifying.

Egypt’s Ismail Hafez is also through to the next round after a dominant display against Rob Wilkins allowed the 31-year-old to complete the victory in straight games. His reward is a clash with top qualifying seed Jean-Pierre Brits who was also the recipient of a bye in round one.

Elsewhere, Jon Geekie progressed in three thanks to victory over Malaysia’s Le Roy Leong and he will face Albert Shoihet who has been without a defeat in qualifying since September.

The other final qualifying round fixture will see England’s Alex Noakes and Diego Gobbi line up against each other after the former defeated Richard Raptapolous and Gobbi was given a bye.

Results – First Qualifying Round: Life Time Atlanta Open 2016
Albert Shoihet (CAN) (bye)
[4] Jon Geekie (SCO) bt [7] Le Roy Leong (MAS) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 11-9
[6] Ismail Hafez (EGY) bt [L] Rob Wilkins (WAL) 3-0: 11-6, 11-2, 11-3
[1] Jean-Pierre Brits (RSA) (bye)
[2] Babatunde Ajagbe (NGR) (bye)
[L] Ahmed Hamza (EGY) bt [5] Adnan Gul (PAK) 3-1: 11-9, 9-11, 11-0, 11-7
[3] Alex Noakes (ENG) bt [L] Richard Raptapolous (USA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-2
Diego Gobbi (BRA) (bye)

Draw – Final Qualifying Round
Albert Shoihet (CAN) v [4] Jon Geekie (SCO)
[6] Ismail Hafez (EGY) v [1] Jean-Pierre Brits (RSA)
[2] Babatunde Ajagbe (NGR) v [L] Ahmed Hamza (EGY)
[3] Alex Noakes (ENG) v Diego Gobbi (BRA)

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