Australian Steven Finitsis rounded off a packed day of qualifying action in the 2011 PSA World Open in Rotterdamwhen he despatched the second highest-ranked player in the draw to reach the qualifying finals of the premier PSA World Tour event at Victoria Squash in the Dutch City of Sport.
The Dutch-based Aussie, ranked more then 50 places lower than top-ranked Hungarian Mark Krajcsak, delighted the appreciative audience on Victoria’s centre court with his 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 victory in 51 minutes.
“It’s a good win for me and good for my confidence,” Finitsis told the event website www.worldopensquash2011.comafterwards. “I’ve been training hard, but not playing many tournaments recently.
“Maybe now it’s time to bite the bullet and go for some big ones,” added the 28-year-old Queenslander.
“I thought I had a chance today, even if ranking-wise, I was not meant to win this match,” admitted Charlton, who won his first Tour title in the Czech Republic earlier this month. “Happy with a 3/0 win, especially as I didn’t play as well as I have been, so, keeping fresh for tomorrow.”
Italy’s Amr Ramsy Swelim – who only got the nod that he was in the draw 24 hours earlier – beat Netherlands-based New Zealander Kashif Shuja 12-10, 11-5, 11-5, although the Kiwi was not at full fitness.
Raphael Kandra delighted the German camp with a fine 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 win over Hong Kong’s Leo Au, winner of two Tour titles over the past four months.
“I played well,” said the delighted Kandra. “I was dominating the rallies, especially in the second game, and I could see he was not comfortable, he didn’t move as well as he normally does. I’ve been a pro for only a year, it takes time to get things in place, but I can feel that my game is getting better, week by week.”
There was little joy for the home fans who were out in force supporting the local players. But all sixteen – ranging in age from 44 to 16 – failed to progress to Saturday’s qualifying finals.
National coach Lucas Buit was one of the first casualties, although he made Hong Kong’s Dick Lau work hard for his three-game win; Stephen Cooke – originally English – took Germany’s Jens Schoor the distance; and Sebastian Weeninkalmost finished the night off nicely, but after coming from two game down against Malaysian Ivan Yuen his challenge tailed off in the fifth.
“It was a nice match, both first games were very close,” admitted Buit, who can now concentrate on his coaching duties. “Still, from 2/0 down, it was just too hard. I think I deserved one game – but I can’t complain, at 44.”
1st qualifying round:
Stephane Galifi (ITA) bt Rasool Hashim Abdullah (IRQ) w/o
Dick Lau (HKG) bt Lucas Buit (NED) 11-9, 11-8, 11-8 (48m)
Eric Galvez (MEX) bt Gabor Marges (NED) 11-7, 11-4, 11-1 (23m)
Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) bt Aqeel Rehman (AUT) 12-10, 11-4, 11-7 (39m)
Max Lee (HKG) bt Tomas de Paauw (NED) 11-2, 11-3, 11-2 (18m)
Joel Hinds (ENG) bt Tom Lucas (NED) 11-2, 11-5, 11-2 (17m)
Zac Alexander (AUS) bt Piedro Schweertman (NED) 11-9, 10-12, 11-6, 11-8 (55m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Joan Lezaud (FRA) 11-4, 11-1, 11-1 (30m)
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Rick Penders (NED) 11-6, 13-15, 11-2, 11-5 (39m)
Shaun le Roux (RSA) bt Marc ter Sluis (NED) w/o
Jens Schoor (GER) bt Stephen Cooke (NED) 10-12, 11-3, 11-8, 4-11, 11-7 (57m)
Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Rene Mijs (NED) 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 (29m)
Davide Bianchetti (ITA) bt Kim Are Killingberg (NOR) 11-2, 11-3, 11-4 (23m)
Amr Ramsy Swelim (ITA) bt Kashif Shuja (NZL) 12-10, 11-5, 11-5 (32m)
Siddharth Suchde (IND) bt Sander van Tour (NED) 11-2, 11-5, 11-3 (19m)
Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt Michael Ernst (NED) 11-3, 11-5, 11-8 (25m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Charles Sharpes (ENG) 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-3 (51m)
Matthew Karwalski (AUS) bt Fabien Verseille (FRA) 11-6, 7-11, 13-11, 11-4 (45m)
Wade Johnstone (AUS) bt Neeraj Aggarwal (AUS) 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 (24m)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Andre Haschker (GER) 12-14, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (75m)
Robbie Temple (ENG) bt Joe Chapman (IVB) 11-5, 11-6, 11-3 (27m)
Clinton Leeuw (RSA) bt Guido Ploem (NED) 11-5, 11-5, 11-4 (17m)
Eddie Charlton (ENG) bt Christopher Gordon (USA) 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 (47m)
Joe Lee (ENG) bt Roshan Bharos (NED) 11-3, 11-2, 11-1 (22m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Mazen Gamal (EGY) 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (27m)
Yann Perrin (FRA) bt Lewis Walters (ENG) 11-4, 9-11, 12-10, 11-7 (58m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Leo Au (HKG) 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 (32m)
Julien Balbo (FRA) bt Frank Hartkoren (NED) 11-6, 11-5, 11-2 (31m)
Henrik Mustonen (FIN) bt Reiko Peter (SUI) 12-10, 11-7, 11-5 (26m)
Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt Sebastian Weenink (NED) 11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 11-13, 11-4 (63m)
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt Bart Ravelli (NED) 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 (36m)
Steven Finitsis (AUS) bt Mark Krajcsak (HUN) 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 (51m)