Declan James -20- (ENG) def Karim Ali Fathi -45- (EGY)
Match recap from Squash Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar Classic.
Round-2 Final: 11-6, 11-9, 11-4 (35m)
Is there anyone more confident on Tour right now than the new World #20? Last month, Declan James proved to himself that he has both the talent and fitness to endure the most difficult challenges. At the US Open, he outlasted Adrian Waller in a deciding-game, 101-minute cage-fight. The result was sweet – reaching the Round of 16 at a PSA Platinum event for the second time.
Just last week, the two met again in the first round of the St. George’s Hill Classic. Same result – an epic deciding-game victory that went 73-minutes. Those two victories are critical for two reasons. They create internal BELIEF in both talent…and fitness down the stretch. Those cranial reinforcements are crucial in the construction of the “champion’s mind.”
Today, Declan earned his third spot in a Platinum Round of 16 by overcoming an opponent who’s owned him in the past. Consider today’s 3-game victory over Karim Ali Fathi another brick in the assembly of that “champion’s mind.”
James and Ali Fathi / Two familiar opponents who’ve played each other since Juniors:
► Sep 2014 – NASH Cup (QF) – Karim Ali Fathi | Score: 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 (46m)
► Jun 20212 – iSquash Grand Prix (SF) – Karim Ali Fathi | Score: 11-9, 11-8, 11-8 (70m)
Each player’s announcer introduction for today’s Round-2 match…
Declan James -20- (ENG)
At 25-years-old, he comes into this year’s Qatar Classic playing the best squash of his career. He started the new season by winning his 13th career title in Nantes – defeating former World #1 James Willstrop in the championship match. With the victory, he cracked the PSA World Tour’s top-20 for the first time, then earned a pair of wins in Philadelphia to make his 3rd-Round debut at the US Open. Last season, he earned his career-best Platinum-series run in Hong Kong – defeating World #8 Fares Dessouky to reach the Quarterfinals. He then won six consecutive matches, capturing the London Open title, and reaching the 3rd Round of the PSA World Championship for the first time. Competing in his 3rd Qatar Classic Squash Championship, he’s through to the 2nd-Round for the first time after a 3-game victory over Omar Abdel Meguid on Saturday. From England, please welcome the #20 Player in the World, Declan James.
▲ R1 — def Omar Abdel Meguid -47- (EGY) | Score: 11-1, 11-5, 11-8 (38m) | RECAP
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. And on Saturday, he defeated Gregoire Marche in 3-games to reach the 2nd-Round of a PSA Platinum event for the third time. A 17-time Finalist on the PSA World Tour, one of those Finals came right here in Doha at the 2016 Qatar Circuit-3 Championship. Competing in his 3rd Qatar Classic – From Egypt, please welcome the World #45, Karim Ali Fathi.
▲ R1 — def Gregoire Marche -31- (FRA) | Score: 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (37m) | RECAP