Reigning champion Nick Matthew got off to a successful start, as he overcame German opponent Raphael Kandra 11-2, 11-6, 10-12, 11-1 in his opening match of the 2014 Qatar PSA World Championship in Doha.
Matthew, who won his third World Championship crown in four years on home soil in Manchester last November, is bidding to become just the 5th man to win the title four times.
“It’s not always a bad thing to have a tough first match”, said Matthew. “I’ve put the training in and it’s a case of hopefully going deep into the competition and seeing things come together throughout the week.”
While Matthew progressed, his compatriot and number 8 seed Daryl Selby suffered a shock first round exit at the hands of South African Stephen Coppinger, as the physical powerhouse from Cape Town came through an epic 3/2 encounter.
Coppinger watched Selby claw back a two-game deficit but managed to hold out in the 5th and deciding game to earn an impressive victory.
“It’s a massively satisfying result and I’m really pleased to get that win,” said Coppinger, who has twice previously lost to Selby in the event over the past six years. I’ve been struggling to get big wins like that for a while so I’m really chuffed to get a big win today in the World Championship.”
Elsewhere there was an historic moment for Indian squash as duo Saurav Ghosal and Mahesh Mangaonkar emerged victorious in their encounters with Australian Steven Finitsis and New Zealand’s Lance Beddoes, respectively, to ensure their country has two representatives in the second round for the first time.
1st round bottom half:
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [Q] Raphael Kandra (GER) 11-2, 11-6, 10-12, 11-1 (47m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 15-13, 5-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-5 (99m)
Nasir Iqbal (PAK) bt [Q] Charles Sharpes (ENG) 13-11, 11-5, 11-8 (42m)
 Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Steven Finitsis (AUS) 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (36m)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) 11-5, 11-9, 11-3 (24m)
Max Lee (HKG) bt [Q] Farhan Mehboob (PAK) 11-7, 10-12, 11-13, 11-7, 11-3 (63m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 11-9, 11-7, 11-5 (35m)
 Amr Shabana (EGY) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-2 (49m)
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) bt  Daryl Selby (ENG) 11-5, 11-4, 8-11, 3-11, 11-4 (73m)
Ong Beng Hee (MAS) bt [Q] Peter Creed (WAL) 11-9, 11-4, 11-8 (41m)
Tom Richards (ENG) bt Eddie Charlton (ENG) 11-2, 11-6, 11-5 (36m)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 (30m)
 Simon Rösner (GER) bt [Q] Danish Atlas Khan (PAK) 11-6, 11-4, 11-9 (38m)
[Q] Lucas Serme (FRA) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 11-4, 11-3, 11-9 (50m)
Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt [Q] Lance Beddoes (NZL) 11-9, 11-3, 11-13, 11-9 (54m)
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [Q] Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (24m)