Egypt’s World No.41 Youssef Ibrahim has reached the last 16 of the Qatar Classic after Mexico’s Cesar Salazar was forced to withdraw from their match due to injury.
It was turning into an enjoyable match between the two players with both exchanging quickfire rallies, however, World No.21 Salazar slipped whilst lunging into the front left corner at 10-10 in the third and was unable to recover handing the match to Ibrahim.
21-year-old Ibrahim has enjoyed a strong season since the PSA Tour restarted in September and will now feature in the last 16 of PSA Platinum event for the second time in a row after recovering from a game down to draw level before Salazar’s injury awarded him a 3-1 victory.
Cesar Salazar receives treatment on court
Ibrahim will face the winner of Mohamed ElShorbagy v George Parker in the third round.
“I think he took me by surprise in the beginning,” said Ibrahim.
“He was going short way too soon and it caught me by surprise. The court here is deadly, you get your rewards if you hit a really good length or boast, I think he adapted to the court much faster than I did. I was a bit disappointed by the first game and I didn’t perform as well as I would have liked. In the second I stayed on court just to hit a few more balls and get the feeling of the court a little bit and I had to respond to the first game.
“It was a bit of a scrappy match, but we are just using the advantage of the court as much as we can. I’m feeling really sorry for him, it’s a horrible way to win, but I remember last year I sprained my ankle in one of the matches and it seemed Qatar there is always something that happens! But I’m sure he will get back stronger.”
Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-1: 4-11, 11-3, 12-10 retired (35m)