Match reports by Robert Valdovinos
Mario Yanez bt. Ryosei Kobayashi (11-6, 11-4, and 11-5) in 29 minutes [plays Jesus Camacho]
After meeting in the semifinals of the 2016 CSA Individuals Championships, University of Rochester teammates faced off once again with a chance to earn a spot in the Main Draw of the 2016 Rochester Pro AM. Over the past three years, Ryosei and Mario have traded countless matches, but tonight Mario went home a winner. In the first, Mario took a commanding lead at 5-1, but Ryo came back and tied it at 5 all. However, unlike his usual self, Ryo did not have that fire in his eyes and seemed to give up at times, culminating in a win for Mario. The first point of the second game was followed the biggest applause of the tournament so far, with a ridiculous rally filled with sneaky shots. Ryosei won that point with a hit out of a volley into the nick. That point turned out to be the highlight of the night for Ryosei. Mario continued his great play with an arsenal of cross court nick and did not look back, he closed the match in three games.
Ahmad Alzabidi bt. (7-11, 11-7, 12-10, 9-11, and 11-2) in 50 minutes [plays Faraz Khan]
Ahmad Alzabidi will play in the Main Draw of the tournament after beating Ismail Hafez in five games. The start of the match was marred by unforced errors on both parties, Ismail won the first game with his excellent soft touch and volleys. Disputed call seemed to be a theme for Alzabidi once again, however he came roaring back and won the following game with a lot of sudden drop shots. Ismail came back to post a win in the third game, but it was not enough. In the last two games, Alzabidi looked focused and dominant, it was evident that he was not going to let Ismail win the match.
Supreet Singh bt. Tomotaka Endo (9-11, 11-2, 8-11, 18-16, and 11-8) in 44 minutes [plays Martin Knight]
With the audience on Tomotaka’s side, the newly crowned University of Rochester captain nearly captured the match in four games, but Supreet came back from four Tomotaka match points to ultimately win at 18-16 in the fourth game. Supreet won the fifth game to earn a coveted spot in the Main Draw. In the first game, Tomotaka won a close game with a questionable no let call, which Supreet did not agree. In the second, Supreet was zoned-in and tied up the match at 1-1. In the third, Tomotaka took advantage of a series of unforced errors by Supreet and was highlighted by an outstanding rally at 8-8, which ended with a boast by Tomotaka. He did not look back and won the third. The fourth game was a marathon, culminating with a Supreet win at 18-16 after a total of six game points. In the final game, Supreet showed the same determination he displayed in the second game and beat Tomotaka in a decidedly fashion.
Aqib Hanif bt. Fernando Magdaleno (6-11, 11-5, 12-10, 8-11, and 11-9) in 62 minutes [plays Lewis Walters]
In an exciting five game match, Aqib Hanif booked his ticket to the Main Draw by beating Fernando Magdaleno. The match started off on Fernando’s side as he breezed through the game and hardly broke a sweat. Aqib looked sluggish, but recovered to take the second game. The third game featured a prolonged injury break, as Fernando bled from a finger. Aqib seized the opportunity and recovered from a Fernando game point to win the third at 12-10. Similar to the third game, the fourth saw back and forth between the two opponents, but this time it was Fernando who capitalized. The fifth game proved to be most intense, as both players chirped at the referee’s calls. Aqib won six quick points at the early stages of the game to propel him to a close 11-9 win.