Sports Host Andy Taylor | The Voice of the Qatar Classic | Photo: Steve Cubbins
Raphael Kandra -19- (GER) def Arturo Salazar -46- (MEX)
Match recap from Sports Host Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar Classic.
Final: 9-11, 11-8, 11-4, 7-11, 11-3 (55m)
Germany’s Rafael Kandra remains undefeated against Mexico’s Arturo Salazar, but today’s victory came down to the wire.
They’d played twice before, including their most recent match nearly 3-years-ago in the Semifinals of the 2016 Bankers Hall Club Pro Am.
2016 Bankers Hall Club Pro Am (SF) – Raphael Kandra | Score: 12-10, 11-9, 11-8 (33m)
2012 Montreal Open [Q] – Raphael Kandra | Score: 4-0 ret.
Today’s win was a big one for the German. It was his first career main draw victory at the Qatar Classic. Back in May, as a qualifier he reached his first Platinum Semifinal at the British Open. The Qatar Classic is his first top-tier event since – he missed the US Open earlier this month. Can Kandra make another deep run?
Here’s a look at each player’s introduction for today’s Round-1 match…
Raphael Kandra -19- (GER)
This 27-year-old comes into the Qatar Classic with a career-high ranking of #19 in the World. Last month, he started the new PSA World Tour season with a Quarterfinal run at China Open, including a 3-game victory over the Columbian Cannonball and World #6 Miguel Angel Rodriguez. Last May, he was unstoppable at the British Open – earning wins over both Nick Matthew and Marwan ElShorbagy – to reach the Semifinals of a Platinum-level event for the first time. He owns 13 PSA Tour titles, has reached 20 career Finals, and last February – won the German Nationals title for the first time. Competing in his 4th Qatar Classic Squash Championship – From Germany, please welcome Raphael Kandra
- Last year, he came in as the World #42 and won a qualifying, 5-game thriller over Nicolas Müller, before falling in Round-1 after another 5-game marathon versus  Nick Matthew (ENG): 10-12, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 8-11 (64-min)
- Had to play through Qualifying at all of the Platinum Series events last season.
Arturo Salazar -46- (MEX)
At 30-years-old, he owns 11 PSA World Tour titles and has been ranked as high as #36 in the World. A 2-time Semifinalist last season – he reached his 35th career Semifinal at the London Open, and 36th at the Internacional Sporta Open in Guatamala. He then ended the season by capturing Singles Bronze and Doubles Gold at the Central America & Caribbean Games, helping lift Mexico to overall Gold, defeating Columbia in the Team Championship Final. Making his Qatar Classic debut – From Mexico, please welcome Arturo Salazar.