New Zealand duo Ben Grindrod and Kashif Shuja sealed their places in the final qualifying round of the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand PSA Classic, PSA M15 tournament after respective wins against Scott Galloway and Elliot Selby on the first day of qualification action.
Grindrod was making his first appearance since last month’s Squash Waikato Open where he reached the semi-final, and followed up his performances there with a routine victory against compatriot Galloway courtesy of an 11-7, 11-7, 11-9 scoreline.
Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng looks set to provide stern competition to Grindrod in the next round after the number three qualifying seed dispatched Zac Millar in comfortable style. Eain lifted silverware on the PSA World Tour as recently as April, and will meet Grindrod for the first time professionally.
Shuja, meanwhile, came up against England’s Selby, younger brother of World No.20 Daryl, and came out on top in a crucial opening game tie-break to go 1-0 up. The 36-year-old engineered some breathing space for himself in the next two games though and rose to a deserved 3-0 triumph to set up a final qualifying round clash with World No.136 Ashley Davies, who saw off Chang Wook Woo of South Korea.
Top qualifying seed Matias Tuomi was also in action and swept to a straight games win over Stephen Bennett. He will take on Australia’s David Clegg for a place in the main draw after Clegg axed Corbin Faint in four.
The other final qualifying round fixture sees Mohd Syafiq Kamal pitted against Addeen Idrakie in an all-Malaysian affair, with respective wins against Sion Wiggin and Jason van der Walt seeing them progress past the first round.
Results – First Qualifying Round: Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand PSA Classic 2016
Addeen Idrakie (MAS) bt Jason van der Walt (NZL) 3-1: 10-12, 11-4, 11-1, 11-9
 Mohd Syafiq Kamal (MAS) bt Sion Wiggin (NZL) 3-0: 11-2, 11-7, 14-12
 Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt [L] Zac Millar (NZL) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-8
 Ben Grindrod (NZL) bt [L] Scott Galloway (NZL) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-9
 Ashley Davies (ENG) bt Chang Wook Woo (KOR) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-9
 Kashif Shuja (NZL) bt  Elliot Selby (ENG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-7, 11-7
 David Clegg (AUS) bt [L] Corbin Faint (NZL) 3-1: 11-4, 8-11, 11-3, 11-4
 Matias Tuomi (FIN) bt [L] Stephen Bennett (NZL) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 11-9
Draw – Final Qualifying Round
Addeen Idrakie (MAS) v  Mohd Syafiq Kamal (MAS)
 Eain Yow Ng (MAS) v  Ben Grindrod (NZL)
 Ashley Davies (ENG) v  Kashif Shuja (NZL)
 David Clegg (AUS) v  Matias Tuomi (FIN)