ToC Men's First Round Qualifying, Beth Rasin Reports
New York, NY - Jan. 10, 2017.
Four New York City squash clubs – Princeton, Harvard, Yale and the New
York Athletic Clubs - were abuzz with the excitement Tuesday evening as
they readied themselves to host 32 players from 18 countries competing
in the qualifying draw for the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions. The
winners receive one the sports’ ultimate rewards, the coveted
opportunity to compete in the sport’s most celebrated venue –
Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal. With the
With virtually all of the world’s top players entered in the ToC,
qualifying competitors included several players who had already made
appearance on the ToC glass court while eight “local” players got to
test their mettle against the world’s best. When the dust settled
at the end of the evening, the veterans had prevailed.
Brooklyn native Andrew Douglas, fresh off a stunning defeat of the
reigning World Junior Champion at the British Open Junior
Championships, was first up at the Princeton Club against Alan Clyne.
The high school senior, who had a lot of fans in the stands, was poised
and steady, making his opponent work hard to earn the first two games
11-7, 12-10. By the third, the 30-year-old Scotsman’s experience and
tenacity carried him to an 11-4 win. Clyne will next face Egypt’s Omar
Abdel Meguid who needed just 23 minutes to dismiss Baltimore’s David
Cromwell in three games.
One of the evening’s most anticipated matches was Gregoire Marche,
ranked 27th in the world, facing off against Ramit Tandon, whose epic
victory in the 2016 qualifying against Ali Farag left an indelible
impression on the New York squash fans. The match was a true battle
with Marche hanging on to win 11-9 in the fifth after 81 minutes on
court. The Frenchman’s next competitor had an equally arduous
evening. Tsz Fung Yip of Hong Kong needed one hour and 18 minutes
to defeat Welshman Joel Makin 7-11, 4-11, 11-6,
Paul Coll, whose end of year victories against several higher seeded
players saw him jump from 33 to 20 in the world rankings in the past
month, lost little time continuing the momentum with a straight games
victory over Arturo Salazar. There will definitely be a Kiwi
playing on the glass court as Coll will play fellow New Zealander
Campbell Grayson for the right to move into the main draw.
Alistair Walker pulled off the evening’s only “upset.” The former full
time touring pro dusted off his racquets to play in his adopted
hometown and moved into the next round with a 3-0 victory over Qatar’s
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi.
J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, New York, NY First round qualifying matches results – January 10, 2017
 Paul Coll (NZL) def. Arturo Salazar (MEX) 11-6,11-4,11-3 35 mins  Campbell Grayson (NZL) def. Vikram Malhotra (IND) 11-6,11-5,8-11,11-5 43 min [L] Alister Walker (BOT) def.  Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 11-2,11-7,11-5 45 min  Nicolas Mueller (SUI) def. Christopher Gordon (USA) 11-9, 8-11, 11-6,11-4 40 min  Tom Richards (ENG) def. Andrew Schnell (CAN) 6-11,11-6,14-12,11-3 47 min  Lucas Serme (FRA) def. [L] Chris Hanson (USA) 11-7,12-10,11-7 43 min  Alan Clyne (SCO) def. [L] Andrew Douglas (USA11-7, 12-10, 11-4 43 min  Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) def. (L] David Cromwell (USA) 11-7, 11-2, 11-6 23 min  Gregoire Marche (FRA) def. [L] Ramit Tandon (IND) 11-5, 11-5, 7-11, 9-11, 11-9 81 min  Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) def. Joel Makin (WAL) 7-11, 4-11, 11-6, 11-9,14-11 76 min  Declan James (ENG) def. Farhan Zaman (PAK) 11-4,11-4,12-10 41 min  Leo Au (HKG) def. Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 11-7,11-6,11-7 46 min  Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) def [L] Clinton Leeuw (RSA) 11-5,11-9,11-8 34 min  Adrian Waller (ENG) def. [L] Tyler Osborne (CAN) 11-8,11-5, 11-7- 28 min  Raphael Kandra (GER) def. Ivan Yuen (MAS) 13-11,12-10,6-11,11-7 57 min  Cesar Salazar (MEX) def. [L] Faraz Khan (USA) 11-6, 14-12,11-7 31 min