India’s Vikram Malhotra came up with a fine performance to defeat top qualifying seed Alfredo Avila in the first qualifying round of the Houston Open, PSA M50 tournament – ensuring that Avila is the only seeded player to miss out on a final qualifying round berth.
Malhotra has been in splendid form recently, with back-to-back tournament wins at the Malaysia Squash Tour I and Charlotte Open elevating him to a career-best World No.92 ranking. The 26-year-old’s displays showed no signs of abating against Avila and he ruthlessly dispatched the World No.40 by an 11-6, 11-7, 11-5 scoreline to secure his place in the next round.
Switzerland’s Reiko Peter lies in wait for Malhotra after he received a walkover against Yasir Ali Butt.
New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson stormed past Shahid Hussain in a one-sided affair that saw the World No.43 drop just five points throughout the 19-minute match. Grayson will lock horns with England’s Nathan Lake for a place in the main draw.
Christopher Binnie is also through after a superb come-from-behind victory against Clinton Leeuw and he will meet experienced Finnish campaigner Olli Tuominen in the final round of qualifying after he beat Faraz Khan.
Henrik Mustonen and Danish Atlas Khan will contest the other final qualifying round fixture after they managed respective wins over Adam Coleman and Anthony Graham, with the former recording his triumph in just 12 minutes.
Results – First Qualifying Round: Houston Open 2016
Vikram Malhotra (IND) bt  Alfredo Avila (MEX) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-5 (35m)
 Reiko Peter (SUI) bt [L] Yasir Ali Butt (PAK) w/o
 Danish Atlas Khan (PAK) bt Anthony Graham (ENG) 3-1: 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 12-10 (52m)
 Henrik Mustonen (FIN) bt [L] Adam Coleman (USA) 3-0: 11-2, 11-0, 11-1 (12m)
 Olli Tuominen (FIN) bt Faraz Khan (USA) 3-1: 11-3, 11-9, 9-11, 11-2 (36m)
 Christopher Binnie (JAM) bt Clinton Leeuw (RSA) 3-2: 9-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-5 (80m)
 Nathan Lake (ENG) bt Reuben Phillips (ENG) 3-0: 11-3, 11-8, 11-3 (45m)
 Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt [L] Shahid Hussain (PAK) 3-0: 11-0, 11-2, 11-3 (19m)
Draw – Final Qualifying Round
Vikram Malhotra (IND) v  Reiko Peter (SUI)
 Danish Atlas Khan (PAK) v  Henrik Mustonen (FIN)
 Olli Tuominen (FIN) v  Christopher Binnie (JAM)
 Nathan Lake (ENG) v  Campbell Grayson (NZL)