Karim Ali Fathi -45- (EGY) def Gregoire Marche -31- (FRA)
Match recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar Classic.
Round-1 Final: 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (37m)
On paper, Gregoire Marche wins this match – but stats and rankings mean nothing inside the glass court. Thanks to the new PSA format for top-tier Platinum events, Ali Fathi and Marche got a chance to face-off for the first time in main-draw play – and Karim took full advantage. Egypt’s World #45 controlled play from the first-serve, dispatching the Frenchman on Court-1 in just under 40-minutes. With the victory, Ali Fathi advances to Round-2 of a PSA Platinum event for the 3rd time.
Karim Ali Fathi and Gregoire Marche’s previous matches:
Mar 2017 British Open [Q] – Gregoire Marche | Score: 11-9, 12-10, 11-8 (50m)
Mar 2017 Windy City Open [Q] – Karim Ali Fathi | Score: 9-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-3 (61m)
Mar 2014 Windy City Open [Q] – Karim Ali Fathi | Score: 4-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-9 (73m)
Each player’s announcer introduction for today’s Round-1 match…
Karim Ali Fathi -45- (EGY)
This 25-year-old owns 10 PSA titles, has been ranked as high as World #33, and has reached the Final-16 of the PSA World Championship twice, in 2015 and 2016. Last year, he played through qualifying and reached the main-draw of the Qatar Classic for the first time. He earned his first Platinum-level main draw victory at the 2013 Kuwait Cup, where he upset World #14 Miguel Angel Rodriguez to reach the 2nd-Round. A 17-time Finalist on the PSA World Tour, he reached one of those Finals right here in Doha at the 2016 Qatar Circuit-3 Championship. Competing in his 3rd Qatar Classic Squash Championship – From Egypt, please welcome the World #45, Karim Ali Fathi
▲ Last year, Karim came into Doha with a career-high ranking of World #33 and blasted through qualifying to reach the main draw for the first time. Ali Farag ended his run in the 1st-Round. Since his first Platinum appearance in 2009, Ali-Fathi owns 2 other career Platinum-level main draw victories:
2017: El Gouna – def World #30 Saurav Ghosal 5-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-9 (71m)
2013: Kuwait – def World #14 Miguel Angel Rodriguez 11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 8-11, 11-4 (68m)
Gregoire Marche -31- (FRA)
2-years-ago, this 28-year-old enjoyed a career-best Platinum run right here at the Qatar Classic, upsetting World #9 Tarek Momen to reach the Quarterfinals of a PSA Platinum-level event for the first time. Just a month prior, he earned one of the biggest wins of his career, upsetting World #2 Nick Matthew in the 1st-Round of the 2016 NetSuite Open. He now owns 7 PSA titles. Has reached 9 career Finals. And has been ranked as high as World #21. French National Champion in 2014 and reigning World Games Silver Medalist, he’s helped lift France to the title-round of the European Team Championships for 8 consecutive years, capturing the title in 2015 and 2017. Competing in his 5th Qatar Classic Squash Championship – From France, please welcome 2016 Quarterfinalist and the #31 Player in the World, Gregoire Marche.