World No.47 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi became the first Qatari player in history to reach the second round of the PSA Men’s World Championship as he upset French World No.14 Gregoire Marche to send the home support wild in Doha.
Al Tamimi has threatened a big upset numerous times in the past – not least when he took three-time World Champion Nick Matthew to five games back at the 2016 edition of the Qatas Classic – and he finally got his first major win on home soil as he defeated Marche 11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9 to reach the last 32.
The 24-year-old was sublime in the opening two games as he took a 2-0 lead, with Marche cutting a frustrated figure as he struggled to get the ball deep into the back corners.
A drop in concentration let Marche back in, in the third and the No.15 seed duly obliged to claw a game back.
The fourth went down to the wire but, with his friends and family watching on, Al Tamimi held his nerve to complete the win in 50 minutes, resulting in exultant celebrations from the Doha man.
tamimi__94</a>!!<br><br>He's absolutely slam dunked it - what a win this was for the Doha man<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PSAWorldChamps?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PSAWorldChamps</a> <a href="https://t.co/74Nm3mdQc6">pic.twitter.com/74Nm3mdQc6</a></p>— PSA World Championships (PSAWorldChamps) November 8, 2019
“I'm really relieved, I've played a lot of matches here, I've had a lot of big battles and I still remember the Nick Matthew match,” Al Tamimi said.
“I had my chances, but I couldn't make it. I couldn't play that well for a couple of years, and I had to wait for the World Championships in 2019 to finally have my first major win here in Qatar.
“It felt really good, I saw the happiness in my dad's eyes and all of my family and friends are here, so I'm glad I made everyone proud. I don't want to stop here, I'm really looking forward to the next round.
“I lost a bit of concentration and my length in the third game. I was thinking that I had to have a good length at the start of the fourth game because the winners would come after. Even though he was coming back at me, I tried to always keep the lead over him.
“My goal now is to really focus on the next round and make sure I play well again, if I do then I have a chance to win.”
"I saw the happiness in my dad's eyes and all of my family and friends are here, so I'm glad I made everyone proud."
tamimi__94</a> reacts to his monumental RD1 win over <a href="https://twitter.com/GregMarche?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">GregMarche as he becomes the first Qatari to reach the second round of the World Championship!
gulf_news</a> <a href="https://t.co/hIE26JnNwq">pic.twitter.com/hIE26JnNwq</a></p>— PSA World Championships (PSAWorldChamps) November 8, 2019
He will play another Frenchman, Mathieu Castagnet, for a place in round three.
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt  Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9 (50m)