Finland’s Henrik Mustonen gave himself the best possible present on his 20th birthday when he beat Egypt’s Andrew Wagih Shoukry in the qualifying finals of the Qatar Classic to earn a place in his first PSA Super Seriessquash event main draw.
The $147,500 Qatar Classic, the ninth and penultimate 2010 PSA Super Series championship, is celebrating its 10th year at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha.
Mustonen, the world No88 from Hollola, near Lahti, defeated fellow surprise qualifying finalist Andrew Shoukry 11-7, 10-12, 14-12, 11-8 in 57 minutes and will now face Egypt’s No3 seed Karim Darwish in the main draw.
“This is the biggest tournament I’ve ever played in, so to qualify is really, really, nice,” birthday boy Mustonen told www.squashsite.co.uk afterwards. “I knew he had a hard game yesterday, but mine wasn’t exactly easy, so I couldn’t try to take advantage of that.
“It will be a good experience for me to play on the glass court – I don’t get to play the top guys very often. And it will be good for my coach to be able to see me play,” added the lowest-ranked player to qualify.
South African Stephen Coppinger was in sensational form as he despatched New Zealander Campbell Grayson 11-1, 11-2, 11-3 in just 29 minutes.
“Needless to say I’m very happy with my game – I didn’t do much wrong there,” explained the 26-year-old from Cape Town.
“Everything is going well so far,” added the world No43 who now lines up against England’s fifth seed James Willstrop.
Rising Swiss star Nicolas Mueller earned himself a place in the main draw with a quick win over good friend Yann Perrin. The 21-year-old from Zurich despatched the Frenchman 11-6, 11-7, 11-2 in just 26 minutes.
“This is the second time I’ve got into a big one – a platinum one,” said Mueller. “Last week in Kuwait was my first one, and this is very rewarding.”
Mueller is drawn to face the event’s new second seed Amr Shabana, the world No5 from Egypt who was the Qatar Classic champion in 2007.
Tom Richards (ENG) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 11-1, 12-10, 5-11, 11-9 (54m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Yann Perrin (FRA) 11-6, 11-7, 11-2 (26m)
Simon Rosner (GER) bt Max Lee (HKG) 11-6, 12-10, 5-11, 3-11, 11-7 (71m)
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 11-1, 11-2, 11-3 (29m)
Borja Golan (ESP) bt Aaron Frankcomb (AUS) 11-13, 11-5, 11-5, 2-11, 11-5 (105m)
Henrik Mustonen (FIN) bt Andrew Wagih Shoukry (EGY) 11-7, 10-12, 14-12, 11-8 (57m)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Martin Knight (NZL) 15-13, 11-5, 11-8 (41m)
Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) bt Julien Balbo (FRA) 11-6, 9-11, 12-10, 11-9 (70m)
Updated 1st round draw:
 Amr Shabana (EGY) v [Q] Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
 Adrian Grant (ENG) v Joey Barrington (ENG)
 James Willstrop (ENG) v [Q] Stephen Coppinger (RSA)
 Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) v Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [Q] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
 Wael El Hindi (EGY) v Omar Mosaad (EGY)
 Peter Barker (ENG) v [Q] Simon Rosner (GER)
 Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) v Tarek Momen (EGY)
 David Palmer (AUS) v Jonathan Kemp (ENG)
 Thierry Lincou (FRA) v Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY)
 Stewart Boswell (AUS) v [Q] Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY)
 Karim Darwish (EGY) v [Q] Henrik Mustonen (FIN)
 Cameron Pilley (AUS) v [Q] Borja Golan (ESP)
 Daryl Selby (ENG) v Olli Tuominen (FIN)
 Alister Walker (ENG) v [Q] Tom Richards (ENG)
 Nick Matthew (ENG) v Ahmad Mohd Al-Tamimi (QAT)