James Willstrop (ENG) 2-0 Mohamed Abouelghar 11-6, 11-8 (36m)
Youssef Soliman 2-1 Borja Golan (ESP) 11-7, 7-11, 11-9 (55m)
Egypt’s Youssef Soliman was forced to do things the hard way in the final match on the first day of action at the Canary Wharf Classic as he overcame experienced Spaniard Borja Golan in a 55-minute battle.
Soliman started well to take the first game, before the typical dogged Golan came to the fore in the second and took full advantage of errors from the Egyptian to draw back level.
It continued to be a tight battle between the two in the third game, with Golan saving two match balls before Soliman was able to convert on the third attempt to set up a last 16 clash with New Zealand’s Paul Coll.
“I was excited and nervous about getting onto this court. I played Borja in Chicago and he gave me a lesson. I managed to sneak the win, I was nervous coming onto this court, I was hoping to play better, it was a bit tight.
“He has the passion, you can see how he is firing himself up and doesn’t give up. He uses all of his experience. James, Daryl and him, you feel like ‘wow’ about playing on the same court with them.
“I was edgy but sometimes it’s just about finding a way through the matches. I’m playing maybe the most consistent player right now in the next round in Paul [Coll]. He wants to get closer to the World No.1 but I won’t make it easy for him, I want to prove to myself that I can beat these top guys.”