Germany’s Raphael Kandra booked his place in round two of the Qatar Classic after he came back from a game down to overcome the challenge of Switzerland’s Dimitri Steinmann.
Kandra, the World No.33, wasn’t at the races early on as Steinmann put in a confident display and attacked with vigour to take a one-game lead for the loss of five points.
That's why he is called The Jet!— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) November 1, 2020
JetSR71</a> goes toe-to-toe with <a href="https://twitter.com/raphkandra?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">raphkandra in a sensational rally!#QatarClassic pic.twitter.com/VNYLoPzMXL
A change in approach from Kandra in the third game paid dividends though as he lengthened the rallies to sap the energy from Steinmann’s legs, duly levelling the scores.
And he was highly clinical in the next two games, mechanically dismantling an increasingly downhearted Steinmann with some precise, methodical squash to close out the win in four games.
Kandra will take on India’s Saurav Ghosal in the next round.
“I feel so lucky to be here again,” Kandra said.
“Everyone knows what’s happening in the world at the moment and it’s tough for professional athletes to compete. I’m just happy to be here, I have so many good memories of this court and have played so many good matches, so I was really looking forward to playing again.
“I had a slow start but I don’t think the players are counting on rankings and points at the moment, they’re just happy to compete again.
“I’ve played Saurav two times, the last time was in Shanghai. He is a very talented player, he’s been on tour for ages and he is probably looking forward to the match as much as I am. I can still improve more than today, I played alright but to beat someone at Saurav’s level I need to play at my very best and that’s what I’m aiming for.”
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) 3-1: 5-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-2 (43m)