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Malhotra Moves Past Seth in Oregon Open Qualifying


Indian World No.152 Vikram Malhotra is one victory away from only a fourth PSA World Tour main draw appearance after easing past Guyana’s Sunny Seth in the first qualifying round of the Oregon Open, PSA M15 tournament.

Malhotra, who won December’s Betty Griffin Memorial Florida Open in stunning circumstances after starting the event as a qualifier, mixed his devilish pace with some trademark drops shots from his impressive repertoire and duly opened up a commanding lead to take the victory in straight games.

He will need to overcome United States player Faraz Khan in the next round after the number five qualifying seed defeated Ismail Hafez.

Finland’s Matias Tuomi is also through to the final qualifying round after a 3-1 win over Salim Khan and his reward is a meeting with Ireland’s Sean Conroy for a place in the main draw after he beat Mauricio Sanchez de la Paz.

Experienced American Julian Illingworth dispatched compatriot Will Gruner in straight games to advance and his opponent in the next round will be Malaysia’s Valentino Bong who downed Nicolas Talbott 3-0.

Sixth seed Charlie Johnson and Addeen Idrakie, meanwhile, will face off in the other final qualifying round fixture. Johnson saw off 13-year-old local player Alec Spiro, while Idrakie came back from 2-1 down to defeat Yehia Essam in a closely contested five-game affair.

Results – First Qualifying Round: Oregon Open 2016
[3] Julian Illingworth (USA) v [L] Will Gruner (USA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-6 (37m)
[4] Valentino Bong (MAS) v Nicolas Talbott (USA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 11-5 (42m)
[5] Faraz Khan (USA) v Ismail Hafez (EGY) 3-0: 13-11, 11-8, 11-9 (44m)
[8] Vikram Malhotra (IND) v [2] Sunny Seth (GUY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 (50m)
[1] Matias Tuomi (FIN) v [L] Salim Khan (USA) 3-1: 11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6 (56m)
[7] Sean Conroy (IRL) v Mauricio Sanchez de la Paz (MEX) 3-1: 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-6 (65m)
[6] Charlie Johnson (USA) v [L] Alec Spiro (USA) 3-0: 11-2, 11-2, 11-2 (25m)
Addeen Idrakie (MAS) v [L] Yehia Essam (EGY) 3-2: 11-5, 9-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8 (60m)

Draw – Final Qualifying Round:
[3] Julian Illingworth (USA) v [4] Valentino Bong (MAS)
[5] Faraz Khan (USA) v [8] Vikram Malhotra (IND)
[1] Matias Tuomi (FIN) v [7] Sean Conroy (IRL)
[6] Charlie Johnson (USA) v Addeen Idrakie (MAS)

Order of play (all times are local):
17:00 [5] Faraz Khan (USA) v [8] Vikram Malhotra (IND)
18:00 [1] Matias Tuomi (FIN) v [7] Sean Conroy (IRL)
19:00 [3] Julian Illingworth (USA) v [4] Valentino Bong (MAS)
20:00 [6] Charlie Johnson (USA) v Addeen Idrakie (MAS)

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