Sports Emcee Andy Taylor | The Voice of the Qatar Classic | Photo: Steve Cubbins
Mathieu Castagnet -26- (FRA) def Youssef Soliman -37- (EGY)
Match recap from Sports Emcee Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar Classic.
Round-1 Final: 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5 (58m)
Last year, Mathieu Castagnet began the 2017-2018 season with a nagging calf injury. He retired in the Nantes Quarterfinals, fell in Round-1 of the US Open, and came into the Qatar Classic ranked outside the top-30. Thanks to Ramy Ashour’s withdrawal, he landed a spot in the main draw.
Meanwhile, his opponent World #25 Alan Clyne was forced to win a pair of qualifiers to reach the main draw. Fresher in the glass court, Castagnet earned a 4-game victory and reached Round-2 in Doha for the first time.
Castagnet returns to the 2nd-Round
Mathieu and Youssef had played before, last season in the Quarterfinals of the Wimbledon Club Open. Castagnet won that match in 4-games.
2018 Wimbledon Club Open (QF). Mathieu Castagnet 9-11, 13-11, 11-3, 11-4 (65m)
This afternoon, Castagnet delivered again, snatching victory in just under an hour.
Here’s a look at each player’s introduction for today’s Round-1 match…
Mathieu Castagnet -26- (FRA)
At 31-years-old, this 3-time French Nationals Champion won his 4th PSA Tour title last March at the Wimbledon Club Open. A 10-time Finalist on Tour, he’s been ranked as high as World #6 – and in 2016, reached his first Platinum-level Semifinal at the Tournament of Champions in New York. That season, he finished in the top-8 on the Road to Dubai and made his PSA World Tour Finals debut, where he earned his first career victory over squash legend Nick Matthew. An 8-time Platinum Quarterfinalist, he is competing in his 6th Qatar Classic Squash Championship – From France, please welcome Mathieu Castagnet.
▲ Last year, he finally won his first match here in Doha, defeating qualifier Alan Clyne in the 1st-Round.
▲ In Round-2, he fell to Nick Matthew in 3-games. Castagnet is now 2-5 at the Qatar Classic.
Youssef Soliman -37- (EGY)
At 21-years-old, he comes into this year’s Qatar Classic with a career-high ranking of World #37, and is already enjoying a fantastic season on the PSA Tour. After starting the new season at the China Open, he went on to reach the championship match at the CAS International in Islamabad, the Semifinals at the Hong Kong FC International, then captured his 8th career title two-weeks-ago at the FMC International in Lahore. A 10-time Finalist on Tour, he is 10-2 since September, and comes into Doha on a 4-match win-streak. Making his Qatar Classic debut – From Egypt, please welcome Youssef Soliman.