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Fathi Leads Charge in Qatar Circuit

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Egypt’s Karim Ali Fathi takes the favourite tag in the upcoming Qatar Circuit III, PSA M15 tournament which begins on Sunday March 20 in Doha as he renews his attempts to lift a 10th career PSA World Tour title.

The World No.43 reached the semi-final stage of the Qualico Manitoba Open a week ago, adding to the runner-up finish he achieved at the Oregon Open in his first tournament of 2016.

Despite his tendency to reach the latter stages of the events he participated in, Fathi is currently enduring a barren spell as far as silverware is concerned, with his last success coming in August 2014.

However, the 22-year-old benefits from being the top seed in Qatar and, with plenty of experience under his belt despite his tender years, will certainly be a contender to capture the title. Fathi is set to face a qualifier in the first round.

Mohamed Reda, the PSA Men’s Player of the Month for November, represents Fathi’s biggest competitor for the crown and the duo are seeded to meet in the final. Reda won the pair’s only professional encounter thus far back in 2014 but has a number of tough potential fixtures in his side of the draw, with a possible quarter-final meeting against fellow Egyptian and seven-time PSA World Tour title winner Mazen Gamal on the horizon.

He will need to progress beyond compatriot Shehab Essam though in the opening round if he is to harbour any ambitions of adding to the trio of PSA World Tour titles he has picked up this season.

Another player eyeing up silverware in Qatar is the country’s number one player, Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi. The World No.61 broke his title duck last time out at the Life Time Atlanta Open with a dramatic 3-2 victory over Chris Hanson and he will look to maintain that form as he looks for a first tournament win on home soil.

A qualifier lies between Al Tamimi and a place in the quarter-final where he will meet either Karim El Hammamy or Tayyab Aslam.

Germany’s Jens Schoor has reached the final in three of his last four events on the PSA World Tour, winning one of those at the PSA Valencia Open three months ago. The 28-year-old has 10 years of professional experience and has an outside of chance of taking the crown if he plays up to his potential. Schoor will begin his tournament against a qualifier in round one.

Main Draw: PSA M15, Qatar Circuit III, Doha, Qatar
[1] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Kush Kumar (IND) v [6] Piedro Schweertman (NED)
[5] Ivan Yuen (MAS) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v [4] Jens Schoor (GER)
[3] Abdullah Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) v [Qualifier]
Karim El Hammamy (EGY) v [8] Tayyab Aslam (PAK)
[7] Mazen Gamal (EGY) v James Huang (TPE)
Shehab Essam (EGY) v [2] Mohamed Reda (EGY)

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