ToC Qualifying complete in NY

Tournament of Champions 2013, New York

17-Jan, Men’s Qualifying Finals:

Campbell Grayson (Nzl) bt Joe Lee (Eng) 14-12,11-7,11-6 (62m)
Ryan Cuskelly (Aus) bt Ali Anwar Reda (Egy) 6-11,11-8,13-11,7-11,11-3 (91m)
Gregoire Marche (Fra) bt Max Lee (Hkg) 11-2, 6-11,2-11,11-6,12-10 (99m)
Adrian Waller (Eng) bt Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas) 11-7,6-11,13-11, 11-8 (63m)
Shawn Delierre (Can) bt Julian Illingworth (Usa) 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 (70m)
Chris Simpson (Eng) bt Abdullah Al Mezayen (Kuw) 11-4,11-3, 8-11, 11-3 (38m)
Shahier Razik (Can) bt Mathieu Castagnet (Fra) 5-11, 11-4,11-4, 11-9 (85m)
Yasir Butt (Pak) bt Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy) 6-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9 (66m)

[LL] Joe Lee replaces injured Alister Walker

Qualifying complete in NY
Beth Rasin reports

“This is a dream come true,” said 22-year-old Gregoire Marche after qualifying for his very first J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in a grueling 99 minute match at the Princeton Club against Hong Kong’s Max Lee.

“Since I was 10, I have watched the great players, like Gregory Gaultier, win this tournament.” After winning the first game, Marche quickly dropped the next two, but revived in the fourth. The fifth was nip and tuck all the way as the lead changed hands on almost every single point until the Frenchman closed out the match at 12-10.

The match that followed was only 8 minutes shorter and equally intense as Australian Ryan Cuskelly defeated Egypt’s Ali Anwar Reda 11-3 in the fifth. The play was fast, furious and physical.

Yasir Butt will make his first appearance on the glass court in Grand Central after displaying great tenacity in his five game win over Marwan El Shorbagy of Egypt. Down two games to love, the Pakistani was persistent in his ball retrieval. A few key mistakes in each of the last three games from El Shorbagy turned the match around, with Butt winning the deciding games 11-8,11-8,11-9 to secure his place in the main draw.

Local hopes were dashed when American Julian Ilingworth succumbed in three games to Canada’s Shawn Delierre.

New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson was decisive and strategic as he executed precise winners, especially on his drop shots, to defeat England’s Joe Lee in straight games.

Chris Simpson took a decisive two game lead against Abdullah Al Mezayen. But just as he had in his five- game victory the previous night, the young Kuwaiti came alive in the fourth and with several winning shots kept his hopes of a Grand Central appearance alive. The Englishman had other ideas, however, and reasserted himself to win the fourth game, 11-3, with relative ease.

At one all, Adrian Waller was down 4-10 in the third against Nafiizwan Adnan of Malaysia. After coming back to win 13-11, Waller attacked relentlessly in the fourth to take his place in the main draw.

It has been seven years since veteran Shahier Razik, 35, had to qualify for the Tournament of Champions. He needed four games and 85 minutes to fend off 26-year-old Mathieu Castagnet.

“My heart keeps me going. I love to play,” explained a tired but happy Razik after the match. “And tonight, what kept me going was that I wanted to play in Grand Central again.”


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