Home favourite Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi has made more history after beating France’s Mathieu Castagnet to become the first ever Qatari to reach the last 16 of the World Championships.
The Qatari No.1 defeated the former World No.6 in straight games to the delight of the home crowd at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha.
The first game was a tight affair, with neither player wanting to give anything easily, and it went all the way to a tie-break. It would be two costly errors from the Frenchman that gifted Al Tamimi the lead in the match.
The second game was going the way of the Frenchman who, with some clever play, looked like he would be levelling the match. However, from 8-6 down, Al Tamimi produced some scintillating squash to reel off five consecutive points to take the game 11-8.
He secured the third game by the same scoreline, but this time in a much more comfortable manner, as he booked his spot in the third round of the World Championships for the first time in his career, where he will face World No.3 Tarek Momen on Monday evening.
“It feels really good, especially here at home. It was really hard today to back it up after yesterday. I played really well yesterday to beat French No.1 Gregoire Marche, and to back it up, to beat Castagnet who is a former World No.6, I was really happy to win in three,” Al Tamimi admitted.
“I was not expecting that performance today and I think I did really well to get off there in three, and I am really looking forward to playing again on Monday.
“After every rally the fans were cheering and jumping from their chairs. I was trying to focus on court and I was not looking outside. Afterwards, I saw all my friends and family who I didn’t even realise were there.
“People from the Aspire Academy and from the federation, they have all been here from the first day and I am looking forward to seeing them here as well on Monday.”
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt Mathieu Catsagnet (FRA) 3-0: 12-10, 11-8, 11-8 (43m)