17-year-old Alastair Gray pulled of somewhat of a shock in the quarter-finals of the ITF Juniors Grade 1 event in Kuching, Malaysia after the 7th seeded Brit took out the second seed in straight sets to book his place in the semi-finals.
— Martin Weston (@martindweston) March 25, 2016
Khumoun Sultanov had defeated fellow Brits Louis Newman and Finn Bass in last week’s tournament in Uzbekistan en route to the final, but Gray made certain that he wouldn’t be the third consecutive Brit to be defeat by the Uzbek with a solid 6-4 6-3 victory.
“Big win for Alistair overnight.” – paulisi, British Tennis Forums
The pair met at the end of February in a similar part of the world, at the Grade 1 quarter-finals in Nonthaburi, Thailand. Sultanov won that clash 7-5 6-3, so Gray’s victory today will have been partly motivated by revenge, and partly motivated by the prospect of reaching his first Grade 1 semi-final of the year.
To reach the final, Gray needs to get past Chien Hsun Lo of Chinese Taipei. Lo hasn’t performed hugely well so far this year, and Gray will feel as though his first Grade 1 final isn’t too far out of reach here.