The opening day of the 2015/16 PSA Dubai World Series Finals saw underdog Miguel Angel Rodriguez upset the form book to claim significant first round victory in the lucrative season-ending tournament which is taking place in the shadow of the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building.
Competing for a share of $160,000 – equal that on offer in the women’s competition – the ‘Colombian Cannonball’ produced one of the best performances of his season to claim his first ever win over World No.3 Nick Matthew at the seventh time of asking.
After going one game down Rodriguez, the first South American ever to compete in the tournament, fought back with vocal support from the crowd to come through 8-11, 11-8, 11-9 and take a huge step towards securing a place in the semi-finals of the men’s tournament.
“I’m very happy with my performance today, to win my first World Series tournament match is terrific,” said Rodriguez.
“All the matches are tough and everyone here wants to win – it’s a very special tournament for all the players. It’s not easy playing the best of three format and the court is very bouncy as well so it was a different challenge. I had to adapt as I usually have a slow start but I was patient and in the third I managed to play well tactically well and get the win.
“This is the first tournament in Dubai so it’s great to be here and for me, playing in the World Series Finals was a dream I had growing up. It was a tough match today but there are no excuses for tomorrow – playing the World No.1 will be tough and I need to focus because I have a chance to make it to the semi-finals.”
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt  Nick Matthew (ENG) 2-1: 8-11, 11-8, 11-9 (54m)