The 11th Qatar Classic got off to a quiet start as men's qualifying top seed Alan Clyne, due on court in the first batch of matches, was informed while he was warming up for the match that the late withdrawal of Jonathan Kemp meant that he was through to the main draw - against David Palmer - without having to step on court.
The definitive ruling took a while to come through, but when it did it was also good news for Clyne's prospective opponent Matthew Karwalski, as the Australian received a bye instead of having to face the running machine that is Clyne, or another opponent as was originally ruled.
On court, Malaysia's Kamran Khan was the first to register a win, overpowering Qatar's Omar Abdullah Al Emad in just 20 minutes.
The quiet start didn't last long though, as there followed a series of matches which were all long and highly-contested.
Siddarth Suchde overcame a tiring Leo Au 3/1 in just over an hour; Joey Barrington saw a two-game lead disappear before finally beating Bradley Hindle in five games and 74 minutes; Mohamed Abouelgar's "hardest-ever match and best win" saw him beat fellow Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad 11/9 in the fifth; Yann Perrin came through an ugly encounter with Omar Abdel Meguid that took five games, 103 minutes and 75 decisions; Muhd Asyraf Azan took exactly an hour for his 3/2 win over Wael Farag.
Chris Ryder looked to be about to buck the trend as he went two games up against Malaysia's Ivan Yuen, but the youngster fought back to take the third, leaving Ryder to wrap it up in four games and 63 minutes.
With Omar Abdel Aziz - who at one stage thought he might be getting a bye - battling it out with Nafiizwan Adnan on court four, it was left to Jaymie Haycocks to bring an end to the run of long matches as the Englishman reduced Qatari interest with a quickfire win over Aspire student Ahmed Al Tamimi. Haycocks will play Aziz for a place in the main draw after the Egyptian beat Adnan 3/1 in a comparatively brisk but entertaining 53 minutes.
Robbie Temple overcame some stern resistance from Raphael Kandra, winning 3/21 in 61 minutes to make it a quartet of Englishmen through to the qualifying finals, where he'll face a fresh Henrik Mustonen, the young Finn who benefitted from a knee injury which caused Aaron Frankcomb to retire mid-way through their first game.
It soon became four Egyptians through too, as Marwan El Shorbagy and Mazen Gamal won in contrasting styles to set up a meeting tomorrow. Gamal put out the third and last Qatari entrant, although Abdulrahman Al-Malki had game balls in the first before subsiding in straight games, while Shorbagy, having taken the first two games against Ryan Cuskelly, finally secured an 11/9 in the fifth victory after 88 minutes. The Aussie was left feeling aggrieved by his no let on the final point, while Shorbagy summed it up saying "I just didn't want to lose today."
The final pairing was decided when Pakistan's Farhan Mehboob made quick work of his win over Malaysian shotmaker Elvinn Keo and experienced Egyptian Mohammed Abbas held off a spirited challenge from young Indian Harinderpal Sandhu to win 3/1 in exactly an hour.
Men's Qualifying Round One:
Matthew Karwalski (Aus) bye
Siddarth Suchde (Ind) bt Leo Au (Hkg) 11/7, 11/13, 11/4, 11/1 (62m)
Kamran Khan (Mas) bt Omar Abdullah Al Emad (Qat) 11/5, 11/5, 11/4 (20m)
Joey Barrington (Eng) bt Bradley Hindle (Mlt) 11/5, 11/6, 2/11, 5/11, 11/7 (74m)
Mohamed Abouelgar (Egy) bt Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) 11/7, 4/11, 7/11, 11/9, 11/9 (58m)
Yann Perrin (Fra) bt Omar Abdel Meguid (Egy) 11/3, 6/11, 8/11, 11/7, 11/6 (103m)
Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas) bt Wael Farag (Egy) 11/9, 11/9, 8/11, 1/11, 11/4 (60m)
Chris Ryder (Eng) bt Ivan Yuen (Mas) 11/6, 11/2, 9/11, 11/6 (63m)
Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy) bt Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas) 11/8, 11/9, 6/11, 11/7 (53m)
Jaymie Haycocks (Eng) bt Ahmed Al Tamimi (Qat) 11/0, 11/1, 11/6 (18m)
Robbie Temple (Eng) bt Raphael Kandra (Ger) 11/6, 11/9, 9/11, 11/7 (61m)
Henrik Mustonen (Fin) bt Aaron Frankcomb (Aus) 6/3 rtd (8m)
Marwan El shorbagy (Egy) bt Ryan Cuskelly (Aus) 11/9, 11/8, 9/11, 6/11, 11/9 (88m)
Mazen Gamal (Egy) bt Abdulrahman Al-Malki (Qat) 13/11, 11/4, 11/4 (30m)
Farhan Mehboob (Pak) bt Elvinn Keo (Mas) 11/2, 11/2, 11/4 (26m)
Mohammed Abbas (Egy) bt Harinderpal Sandhu (Ind) 12/10, 12/10, 8/11, 11/9 (60m)
Qualifying finals, and women's qualifying round one, start at noon tomorrow.