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World Junior Champion runner-up Youssef Soliman

Fierce battles in Wimbledon Open qualifying

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A mixture of shock results and strong performances entertained spectators in the Wimbledon Club Squash Squared Open, PSA M25 tournament as qualification got off to a superb start.

With all players hoping to secure safe passage to the main draw, the first major upset of the day occurred when World Junior Championship runner-up Youssef Soliman defeated World No.91 Chris Fuller in four games. Soliman resisted Fuller’s attempts to play a fast-paced length game by exhibiting some sumptuous drop shots at the front of the court and the 19-year-old Egyptian took it in four to close out an 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9 win.

“I landed a bit late last night so I’m a bit tired today, but all credit to him he played extremely well and attacked more than me,” said Soliman.

“I was the one doing all the running today, his shots were very accurate and tight. I was trying to get him out of his comfort zone to unsettle him. I was hard and fast, but I’m lucky to get the 4th, he played so well.”

Soliman now faces Englishman Richie Fallows in the final qualifying round, after the World comfortably overcame close friend Ashley Davies 3-0.

Elsewhere, Joshua Masters produced an extraordinary display to overturn a 2-0 deficit against New Zealander Evan Williams, eventually prevailing after a thrilling five game battle. Masters will meet Belgium's Jan van den Herrewegen in the final round of qualifying after he advanced following an injury to Welshman Joel Makin.

World No.111 Matthew Hopkin, meanwhile, fought back strongly to defeat England’s Lyell Fuller 3-2 after a hard fought performance. Hopkin will line up against the energetic Peter Creed for a place in the main draw who produced a well polished display to defeat Mark Fuller in straight games.

Newly crowned British Under 21 Champion George Parker recovered well from a game down against Jamaica’s Lewis Walters to advance to the final qualifying round. His triumph means that he will go head-to-head with World No.96 Carlos Cornes Ribadas after the Spaniard beat Ben Ford 3-0.

Results – First Qualifying Round: The Wimbledon Club Squash Squared Open 2016
[1] Peter Creed (WAL) bt Mark Fuller (ENG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-8, 11-7
[8] Matthew Hopkin (AUS) bt Lyell Fuller (ENG) 3-2: 11-6, 9-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9
Jan Van Den Herrewegen (BEL) bt [6] Joel Makin (WAL) 3-0: 14-12, 11-8, 8-5 (RET)
Joshua Masters (ENG) bt [4] Evan Williams (NZL) 3-2: 6-11, 7-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-4
[3] George Parker (ENG) bt Lewis Walters (JAM) 3-1: 9-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-5
[7] Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP) bt Ben Ford (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 12-10
Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt [5] Chris Fuller (ENG) 3-1: 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9
[2] Richie Fallows (ENG) bt Ashley Davies (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-8

Draw – Final Qualifying Round
[1] Peter Creed (WAL) v Matthew Hopkin (AUS)
Jan van den Herrewegen (BEL) v Joshua Masters (ENG)
[3] George Parker (ENG) v [7] Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP)
Youssef Soliman (EGY) v [2] Richie Fallows (ENG)

By Jonny Coverdale

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