Thu 2nd Dec, Round
Saudi Arabia has been waiting five years for its World Open,
since the inaugural Saudi International in 2005, and today is
the day that dream becomes a reality.
It's a 12-noon start for the top half of the 64-man (reduced to
62 with Davide Bianchetti and Jan Koukal out) draw, with 11
matches on the outside courts followed by four on the Glass
Court this evening.
 Shahier Razik (Can) bt
[Q] Joe Lee (Eng)
12/10, 11/7, 11/6 (44m)
 Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned) bt [Q] Mohammed Abbas (Egy)
11/5, 11/8, 9/11, 9/11,
 Joey Barrington (Eng) bt [Q] Alan Clyne (Sco)
11/7, 11/5, 11/6 (49m)
 Hisham Ashour (Egy) bt Chris Ryder (Eng)
11/4, 11/5, 12/10 (34m)
Mark Krajcsak (Hun) bt  Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Col)
11/8, 11/5, 11/4 (40m)
 Omar Mosaad (Egy) bt [Q] Julien Balbo (Fra)
11/7, 11/5, 4/11, 11/5
 Ali Anwar Reda (Egy) bt [Q] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)
11/1, 11/8, 4/11, 11/4
 Farhan Mehboob (Pak) bt [Q] Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas)
11/6, 11/8, 9/11, 11/5
 Jonathan Kemp (Eng) bt Rafael Alarcon (Bra)
11/2, 11/5, 11/9
 Alister Walker (Eng) v Steve Coppinger (Rsa)
 David Palmer (Aus) bt [Q] Stéphane Galifi (Ita)
11/3, 11/2, 12/10
17.00 CG  Thierry Lincou (Fra) v [Q] Kashif Shuja (Nzl)
18.00 GC  Amr Shabana (Egy) v [Q] Chris Simpson (Eng)
19.30 Opening Ceremony
19.45 GC  Grégory Gaultier (Fra) v Mohammed Taher Al-Saif (Ksa)
20.45 GC  Nick Matthew Eng) v Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
Rakiz first man through, LJ
"THat never happens to me, thaty I'm on early and kick the
tournament off," said Shahier Razik after the Canadian
had won the opening match of the Saudi World Open 2010, "it's a
Qualifier Joe Lee had given him a good workout, and had he
managed to keep the momentum after recovering from 10/8 down in
the first to force extra points, it might have been a different
story. The young Englishman took a 7/1 lead in the second, but
was pegged back by the experienced Canadian who took ten points
in a row, and was always in control in the third.
"The first was a key game," admitted Razik, "it's always nice to
go one up. Joe's playing well, I played him last week and the
first two games were really tough, so I knew what I was getting
day after reaching the top ten for the first time, LJ Anjema
looked to be on course for an energy-saving victory against
Mohammed Abbas, but the experienced Egyptian had other ideas as
he stormed back to equalise.
At 5-all in the decider though it was the Dutchman who found the
"Never in doubt ....................." was coach Lucas Buit's
tongue in cheek assessment. Malcolm's report to follow.
Joey & Hisham ease through
The bad news for the qualifiers - who had a three-month wait
after securing their places - continued as Joey Barrington came
through surprisingly quickly against Alan Clyne. The Scotsman
could never quite get to terms with Barrington, although he made
the Englishman work exceedingly hard to take the last few points
of the match.
"That was good going," said Barrington. "All the first rounds
are tough, and on paper and current form that looked a tough
one, so I'm pleased to get through, especially in three."
Watched by younger brother Ramy, Hisham Ashour made quick
work of the first two games against the in-form Chris Ryder,
then held off a spirited challenge from the Englishman in the
"He's a tough player," said Ashour, "very light, always thinking
and he always puts the ball away from you.
"I'm fired up though, I've lost too many matches I should have
won. I've trained hard recently and have a good feeling inside,
hopefully it will start paying off in this tournament.
"It was tough luck for him today, I was very sharp. LJ is a
tough next round, but I'm going to be a tough opponent, for
As soon as Mark Krajcsak had caused the first upset of
the tournament in putting out Miguel Angel Rodriguez in straight
games, he went straight to the travel agent that's situated in
the Sunset Beach sports centre to change his flight home.
"I was as surprised as anyone to win that," admitted the
Hungarian, "especially in three. I hadn't played him before so I
don't know if it was me playing well or him playing badly, but
I'll take that for sure.
"I was really unhappy when I lose easily in London last week, so
I refocused on this event, I wanted to play as well as I could
in my last tournament of the year, and that's a good start."
Mark's flight home was on a non-changeable ticket, so hopefully
he won't use all his extra prize money on a new one. Next in the
queue for the travel agent was, of course, Rodriguez.
Kemp at the Double
I'll get on there for five minutes now," quipped Rafael
Alarcon as the Krajcsak match finished.
Little did we know that he really meant it. Having torn his calf
muscle on Friday, treatment on Saturday, the Brazilian simply
went for everything, everything except rallies, that is.
And in Jon Kemp he found an opponent all too willing to
join in the fun.
The first two games were over in a flash, Rafa did a little
better in the third, he even led 9/7, but Kemp finished it off,
to smiles all round. "Three nil or three-two, it's all the
same," said Rafa, "we had some fun on there and at the end I
told him he must have been getting worried!"
At 11 minutes it was one of, if not the, shortest World Open
matches of all time. Usually when you see a time like that you
ask "does that include the breaks?". In this case yes, it does,
it's just that they didn't have any breaks ...