Germany’s World No.42 Raphael Kandra upset local favourite Tom Richards in straight games to earn his place in the main draw of the 2017 Channel VAS Championships at St George’s Hill, PSA M100 tournament held in Weybridge.
The 26-year-old from Paderborn narrowly overcame World No.35 Richards in an opening game tie-break before moving on to claim victories in games two and three to wrap up a 12-10, 11-6, 11-9 triumph in 40 minutes.
“Sometimes you register for a tournament and wonder if the timing is right,” said Kandra.
“You don’t expect too much out of it and the result comes. I’m quite proud of this one.”
Kandra will line up against World No.13 Mohamed Abouelghar when the main draw gets under way tomorrow (October 18) as he looks to improve on the first round defeat he suffered at this tournament on his last appearance in Weybridge in 2015.
He will be joined in the main draw by Australia’s World No.17 Cameron Pilley. 34-year-old Pilley was appearing in the qualifying rounds of a PSA World Tour event for the first time since 2006 and he dropped just one game en route to the main draw after following up a 3-0 win over Lance Beddoes with a 3-1 victory over England’s Adrian Waller.
Up next for Pilley is a clash with last year’s runner-up Tarek Momen in the first round of the main draw, while former World No.4 Miguel Angel Rodriguez and Indian World No.26 Saurav Ghosal are also through to the main draw courtesy of respective wins over 2015 winner Chris Simpson and World No.40 Declan James – ensuring that there were no wins for the English contingent on the final day of qualifying.
Rodriguez, a quarter-finalist at last year’s tournament, will lock horns with World No.9 Fares Dessouky, with Ghosal coming up against World No.6 Marwan ElShorbagy in round one.
The main draw of the Channel VAS Championships will be held between October 18-22 and the whole tournament will take place at the St George's Hill Lawn Tennis Club.
Every match from the main draw will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) or Eurosport Player (Europe only).
Tickets start from £11.85 and be purchased here.
For more information, please visit the tournament website.
Results – Final Qualifying Round: 2017 Channel VAS Championships at St George’s Hill
 Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt  Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 11-9, 1-11, 11-9 (53m)
 Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt  Declan James (ENG) 3-1: 11-4, 8-11, 11-6, 11-3 (54m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt  Tom Richards (ENG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-6, 11-9 (40m)
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt  Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-1: 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10 (67m)
Draw – First Round (Top Half): To Be Played October 18th
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Borja Golan (ESP)
[Q] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v  Fares Dessouky (EGY)
 Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [Q] Raphael Kandra (GER
[Q] Saurav Ghosal (IND) v  Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
Draw – First Round (Bottom Half): To Be Played October 19th
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v [Q] Cameron Pilley (AUS)
Diego Elias (PER) v  Daryl Selby (ENG)
 Paul Coll (NZL) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
[WC] Charlie Lee (ENG) v  Ali Farag (EGY)