J.P.Morgan Tournament of Champions 2016 • 05-14 Jan, New York

TODAY ] SEMIS ] QUARTERS ] Round TWO ] Round ONE ] [ Qualifying ] News ]

TODAY at the ToC 2016
Qualifying Finals:

Youngest will Play Oldest

The youngest player in the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions draw will face off against the oldest when 19-year-old Diego Elias goes head-to-head with 35-year-old Nick Matthew, the 2012 ToC titleholder, in first round play.

Displaying a maturity beyond his years. the Peruvian teenager held fast in his 84-minute, five game victory over Scotland’s Greg Lobban in their qualifying final at The Yale Club. Both players played patient, error free squash punctuated by long rallies and drops. In the end, the 2014 Junior World Champion was able to push just enough harder to earn his second trip to the ToC main draw.

Ramit Tandon and Clinton Leeuw, who both registered massive five-game upset victories in the first round, are regular training partners and faced each other in the ToC qualifying decider.

Asked about playing his training partner, Tandon said, “Practice is practice and this match especially was different. Both of us really wanted to get to the glass court in Grand Central – because of that I was a little nervous to be honest.”

The 2015 Columbia University graduate pushed past the nerves to win in four games and earn his first trip to what he calls “the dream court” where he will battle reigning world champion Gregory Gaultier on Friday.

France’s Grégoire Marche prevailed in 74 minutes and four games over New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson to make his way into the first round against Leo Au of Hong Kong.

Lucas Serme
of France dispatched Egypt’s Moh’d Abouelghar in commanding fashion and will next face Egypt’s “The Hammer of Thor” Omar Mosaad who comes into the ToC with his highest ranking of world #4. Serme and Au share the distinction being the brother half of sibling duos whose sisters Annie Au and Camille Serme, erspectively, are also competitors in the championships’ main draw.

For the first time in many years, Pakistan will have two contenders in the ToC main draw. Nasir Igbal prevailed over Scotland’s Alan Clyne and Farhan Zaman eliminated England’s Declan James. Iqbal plays Ryan Cuskelly of Australia on Friday and Zaman takes on Hong Kong’s Max Lee on Thursday. Raphael Kandra of Germany and Adrian Waller of England claimed the last two qualifying spots.

Qualifying First Round: Farag & LJ Out
Playing just two blocks from Grand Central where the ToC glass court was being constructed for main draw play, India’s Ramit Tandon, supported by a crowd of former Columbia University teammates, unnerved and upended third seed Ali Farag of Egypt in the first round of qualifying.

After dropping the first game, the 2015 Columbia University graduate snatched the next two at 11-8. Ali, who graduated from Harvard in 2013, fought back to tie the match at two all. In the decider, Tandon jumped out to an early four point lead; although the rest of the deciding game was a nip and tuck affair, that early lead provided Tandon’s margin of victory.

South Africa’s Clinton Leeuw and Dutchman Laurens Jans Anjema treated the capacity crowd at the Princeton Club to a second-stirring nail biter when Leeuw snatched a 12-10 fifth game victory. “It’s ironic that I am almost at retirement and I just got the biggest win of my career,” a visibly delighted Leeuw remarked after the match. The New York Athletic Club assistant pro, who had taught three lessons earlier in the day and turned down a fourth to ensure that he had enough gas in the tank, will have to battle his local training partner Tandon for the main draw spot.

In the evening’s longest match, Frenchman Grégoire Marche staved off eager young American Chris Hanson in five games at the New York Athletic Club. Hanson played aggressively from the start of the match, throwing Marche off-balance. “I was up 2-1, and leading in the fourth when I started thinking I that I actually had a chance to win the match,” said the Dartmouth University graduate, “and that ‘s when Marche really asserted himself.” The opponent standing between Marche and a main draw slot is New Zealander Campbell Grayson who eliminated the last American, Faraz Khan, in three games.

Frenchman Lucas Serme, who was on court for a mere 15 minutes in his dismantling of Mike Lewis of the US, will have to get past Mohamed Abouelghar to join sister Camille as a ToC main draw competitor after the Egyptian eliminated Canadian Shawn Delierre.

Two Pakistanis are in the running for a main draw spot as Nasir Iqbal and Farhan Zaman won their matches and will face off against Scotland’s Greg Lobban and England’s Declan James, respectively.

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