Europeans claimed all four qualifying slots in the NetSuite Open Squash Championship in San Francisco after tough encounters in the qualifying finals of the PSA World Tour International 70 event in its third year in California, USA.
Held at three different venues in downtown San Francisco, the matches lined up main draw action which will be staged on an all-glass squash court erected on the South Lawn at Justin Herman Plaza on the San Francisco waterfront.
England’s Adrian Waller recorded the biggest upset, beating Egypt’s world No. 29 Marwan Elshorbagy, a former world junior champion, 11-7, 4-11, 11-6, 11-8 in 64 minutes at the Bay Club.
Waller, ranked 34 in the world, will now line up against fellow countryman Daryl Selby, the world No. 13 returning to Tour action after a knee injury.
There was a further upset at the Bay Club when Finland’s Henrik Mustonen denied France a qualifying double by beating world No. 30 Gregoire Marche 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 in 74 minutes.
World No. 36 Mustonen (pictured above, left, in action with Marche), the youngest and lowest-ranked qualifier, will make his NetSuite Open main draw debut against Dutch champion Laurens Jan Anjema, the world No. 18 from The Hague.
Mathieu Castagnet ensured French qualifying success at the University Club when his Egyptian opponent Mohd Ali Anwar Reda retired injured after 65 minutes with the score standing at 11-9, 11-13, 11-4, 5-2 in the Frenchman’s favor.
Castagnet, the world No. 28 from Aix-en-Provence, will now meet fellow countryman Gregory Gaultier, the defending champion and second seed who also hails from Aix.
Scotland’s Alan Clyne earned his third successive appearance in the California championship after beating Canadian Shawn Delierre 11-9, 11-6, 13-11 in 46 minutes at the Olympic Club.
The 27-year-old from Edinburgh’s reward is a first round clash with top seed Ramy Ashour, the world No. 1 from Egypt who is unbeaten in his last 41 PSA World Tour matches.
“Got two 3-0 wins in qualifying. Can’t complain,” the Scot told his Twitter followers. “It doesn’t get any easier though drawing the No. 1 in the world first round.”
NetSuite Open image courtesy of Ma Patapoff
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) 11-7, 4-11, 11-6, 11-8 (64m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY) 11-9, 11-13, 11-4, 5-2 ret. (65m)
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Shawn Delierre (CAN) 11-9, 11-6, 13-11 (46m)
Henrik Mustonen (FIN) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 (74m)
Updated 1st round draw:
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO)
Tom Richards (ENG) v Adrian Grant (ENG)
Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) v [Q] Henrik Mustonen (FIN)
 James Willstrop (ENG) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
 Peter Barker (ENG) v [WC] Julian Illingworth (USA)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v [Q] Adrian Waller (ENG)
Simon Rosner (GER) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [Q] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
Article and image courtesy of the Professional Squash Association