Photos by Paul Schwartz:
Aurangzeb Mehmund (PAK) bt Yuta Fukui (JPN) 6-11, 11-8, 2-11, 11-3, 11-6 (57m)
Opening round qualifying match between Aurangzeb and Yuta started uneventfully with each player winning a game. After that, all hell broke loose. Yuta was stoic, paced, patient and calculating his shots, while Aurangzeb was fiery and hot tempered. This dramatic disparity in temperament resulted in an easy 11-3 win for Yuta, led by precise, attacking drop shots and incontestable deception. Aurangzeb changed his shirt before game 4, to one with the name KHAN on the back. With this came a total personality change in the player. While still fiery, the hot-tempered anger was channeled into aggressive drop shots and ferocious retrieving speed, resulting in an equally lopsided 11-4 win for Aurangzeb. Game 5 brought even more energy out of Aurangzeb. He hit the ball with more pace than any previous game and ran faster in retrieval than in game one. The stoicism of Yuta turned to demoralization at the total transformation of his opponent and he lost game 5 to Aurangzeb. Service nicks, wild swings in momentum and both players diving for balls made this a memorable match.
Mike McCue (CAN) bt Bryan Bonilla (GUA) 11-9, 11-5, 11-4 (30m)
Qualifying match between Mike McCUe(CAN) and Bryan Bonilla (GUA) was much closer than the 3-0 score looks. A quick 5-1 start by McCue was eroded by 3 unforced tins to give Bonilla a 7-6 lead. Then Bonilla returned the tins and the lead back to McCue, losing the game on a stroke ball. Game 2 started with both players already soaked in sweat from the 11-9 first. Long opening rallys led to 2 more quick Bonilla tins followed by another after a 30 shot exchange. A 4th tin soon followed and McCue was up 7-1 on his way to 11-5 victory.Game 3 was notable for perfect width and frustratingly successful retrieving on McCue’s part ulitmately drawing more tins from Bonilla.
Reuben Phillips (ENG) bt Paul Rawden (ENG) 11-9, 10-12, 11-8, 3-11, 11-5 (59m)
Syed Hamza Shah Bukhari (PAK) bt Baba Tunde Ajagbe (NGR) 11-7, 11-6, 11-8 (36m)
Chris Binnie (JAM) bt. Oscar Lopez (MEX) 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 (31m)
Playing against the University of Rochester local Oscar Lopez from Mexico, Binnie looked very strong in the beginning but Lopez stayed in the rallies and pushed the Jamaican in the first two games. Unforced errors from Lopez gave the edge for Binnie though and he took the first two 11-7, 11-8.
Lopez got a bad start to the third making several mistakes and giving Binnie a 4-0 lead. The Mexican then started to play better and moving his opponent more to the corners but Binnie’s lead was too big in the end. He won the third 11-4 and closed the match in three. Not a walk in the park for Binnie though.
Oscar: “I played well and pushed hard. I just think he has more control and rhythm. Looking forward to playing more matches on this level – it’s a different experience.”
Adam Perkiomaki (USA) bt. Tyler Hamilton (CAN) 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (30m)
A very quick start gave the attacking Perkiomaki a 4-0 lead in the first game. The Canadian found his rhythm eventually but never caught up – Perkiomaki took the first one 11-8. It was a similar start to the second one but Hamilton hung in and got up to 4-4. Perkiomaki hit some great winners after that and got himself a 9-5 lead in just a couple of minutes. Hamilton controlled the next rally from start to finish but Perkiomaki kept on retrieving everything. Perkiomaki eventually won what was the longest rally of the match and went on to win the second game 11-5.
He continued a solid performance in the third and it seemed that Hamilton couldn’t find a way to win even though he came back fighting. Perkiomaki stayed focused and didn’t let the Canadian back into the game, winning 3-0.
A solid performance by the Rochester senior who is now looking to challenge former Trinity player, Chris Binnie, in the final qualifying round.