Qatar’s World No.39 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as he came from two games down against France’s World No.35 Lucas Serme under the chandeliers of Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall in New York.
It was a poor start from Tamimi as Serme comfortably took the first game by an 11-4 margin, before saving two game balls from the Qatari in the second to double his advantage.
Tamimi refused to go down without a fight though as he got back to basics in the third and cut out the errors to reduce the deficit. From then on it was Tamimi who dominated as he implemented his own style of play well to complete his comeback with a 4-11, 11-13, 11-4, 11-9, 11-7 win and reach the last 32 of the PSA Platinum tournament for the first time in his career.
Tamimi will now face New Zealand’s World No.5 Paul Coll in the second round tomorrow.
“I really started slow and I wasn’t playing with a high pace,” said the Qatari No.1 afterwards.
“Rodney [Martin] was on my side today and kept pushing me to play my style of game which is fast and try to volley a bit more. Put pressure on the back of the court, I play that up and down and I’m really glad that I finished that fourth game and I knew that if I could keep that pace in the fifth then it would be good for me.
“Lucas played really well. I think the last time we played, he beat me, and I found it really hard to play him. It’s my first win, I got engaged three weeks ago, so this is win is for her.
“The World Championship in Qatar has given me a lot of confidence in trying to play the right way and I haven’t really played since then, so it was harder to start the match. It was really good to get five games today, get me a bit more time on the court to get ready for Paul [Coll] tomorrow.”
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-2: 4-11, 11-13, 11-4, 11-9, 11-7 (62m)