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Rui Soares

Soares Becomes First Portuguese Platinum Match Winner As Qatar QTerminals Classic Begins

Portugal’s World No.68 Rui Soares has made history at the Qatar QTerminals Classic, as he became the first Portuguese player to ever win a match at a Platinum level event on the PSA World Tour.

Soares took on Mexico’s Arturo Salazar in his debut at the Qatar Classic, just two months after his first experience of a major tournament other than the PSA World Championships.

It was a back-and-forth encounter which saw both players take it in turns to rattle off points, but neither player truly enjoyed prolonged spells of superiority. Salazar went short often and did find some joy there but also found the tin regularly as Soares came back from 2-1 down to seal his place in the second round of a Platinum event for the first time.

Soares, who only entered the main draw on Thursday due to a withdrawal from England’s Richie Fallows, will now take on New Zealand’s World No.3 Paul Coll in the second round.

“It’s unbelievable to play this tournament in Qatar,” said the Portuguese No.1.

“The organisation is unreal. I’ve heard a lot of good things, but it’s great to be here to play this tournament. I was really nervous to start with, it’s my first time on SQUASHTV, but I’m really happy to get that win.

“Once you start getting a couple of wins in a row you get more confidence and the wins start coming along one after the other. It’s different coming to this kind of event after playing Challenger events, it’s unbelievable.

“It’s going to be a great experience for me to play him [Coll] on a glass court. I’m going to enjoy it the best I can and hopefully I won’t be as nervous tomorrow. I’m really pleased to be in the second round and I’ll just make the most of it.”

Elsewhere, home hopes were dashed on the opening day of the Qatar QTerminals Classic, as Germany’s Raphael Kandra and England’s Declan James knocked the two Qatari players in the draw out of the Platinum level tournament in Doha.

Declan James (left) in action against Syed Azlan Amjad (right)

With World No.35 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi missing the event due to injury, the Qatari hopes lay on Syed Azlan Amjad and Abdulrahman Al-Malki, but neither were able to make it through to the second round.

Amjad, the Qatari No.2, faced off against England’s Declan James on the opening day, with the World No.28 coming out on top in their first ever encounter on the PSA World Tour. The Englishman won 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 in 35 minutes to book his place in the last 32, where he will face Peru’s Diego Elias.

“I’ve missed it so much not being able to play the last few events since the start of August for different reasons,” said James in his post-match interview.

“I missed it so much, but it gave me a chance to go back and train for the last three months, work with my coach after the Manchester tournaments on what I needed to improve on. I’ve been watching on, these guys have been playing every week, so I’m glad to be back.

“It’s always a great match against Diego. He’s a fine player and world class and it’s always played to a high level when we play and I’m just looking forward to getting a match of that quality. I’m desperate for these matches, to learn as much as I can. I’m here to push hard this week.”

Germany’s Raphael Kandra faced the other Qatari in the first round, defeating wildcard Abdulrahman Al-Malki in straight games to book his place in the second round of the Qatar QTerminals Classic. The German No.1 needed just 22 minutes to overcome the Qatari on home soil, winning 11-2, 11-7, 11-5.

Raphael Kandra (right)

“I’m very happy to reach the second round,” said the German afterwards.

“Jetlag is getting tougher the older you get, but I had enough time between the U.S. Open in Philadelphia to go back to Germany and then from Germany to here it’s only a one hour time difference, so it’s not a big deal. I’m just happy to be here competing again, the hospitality every year is fantastic and I’m lucky to play on a glass court from the first round. Tomorrow I will be back on the normal court but trying to stay in the tournament for as long as I can.

Kandra will now face India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar in the last 32, after the Indian downed Scotland’s Alan Clyne to secure his first ever match win at a Platinum level tournament.

Elsewhere on the opening day, there were a spate of five-game thrillers on the side courts, with the English pair of George Parker and Adrian Waller coming from two games down to defeat Spain’s Bernat Jaume and England’s Nathan Lake, respectively.

The second round of the Qatar QTerminals Classic takes place tomorrow with play starting at 12:00 (GMT+3) at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex. Glass court action will be shown live on SquashTV.

For more information on the 2021 Qatar QTerminals Classic, visit the tournament’s official website, or follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Results – First Round: Qatar QTerminals Classic
George Parker (ENG) bt Bernat Jaume (ESP) 3-2: 3-11, 9-11, 14-12, 13-11, 11-6 (76m)
Ramit Tandon (IND) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-2: 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 12-14, 11-8 (60m)
Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) 3-2: 11-3, 9-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9 (46m)
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) bt Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) 3-2: 11-4, 11-9, 10-12, 10-12, 11-7 (86m)
Declan James (ENG) bt [WC] Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 (35m)
Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-1: 12-10, 6-11, 11-3, 2-0 rtd (48m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt [WC] Abdulrahman Al-Malki (QAT) 3-0: 11-2, 11-7, 11-5 (22m)
Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-1: 11-7, 11-6, 3-11, 11-2 (48m)
Borja Golan (ESP) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-1: 13-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-2 (50m)
James Willstrop (ENG) bt Faraz Khan (USA) 3-0: 11-1, 11-4, 11-3 (18m)
Lucas Serme (FRA) bt Mazen Gamal (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 (40m)
Tom Richards (ENG) bt Shahjahan Khan (USA) 3-0: 14-12, 11-5, 11-5 (41m)
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Nathan Lake (ENG) 3-2: 5-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9 (66m)
Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) bt Christopher Gordon (USA) 3-2: 3-2: 11-9, 12-10, 10-12, 9-11, 11-3 (75m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN) 3-2: 11-9, 8-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7 (63m)
Rui Soares (POR) bt Arturo Salazar (MEX) 3-2: 7-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-6, 11-6 (39m)

Draw – Second Round: To Be Played October 18th
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Youssef Ibrahim (EGY)
Mazen Hesham (EGY) v George Parker (ENG)
Ramit Tandon (IND) v Patrick Rooney (ENG)
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) v [8] Joel Makin (WAL)
[6] Diego Elias (PER) v Declan James (ENG)
Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) v Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Raphael Kandra (GER) v Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND)
Borja Golan (ESP) v [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) v James Willstrop (ENG)
Lucas Serme (FRA) v Tom Richards (ENG)
Youssef Soliman (EGY) v Omar Mosaad (EGY)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [7] Mostafa Asal (EGY)
[5] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
Adrian Waller (ENG) v Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Baptiste Masotti (FRA)
Rui Soares (POR) v [2] Paul Coll (NZL)

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