Ouseph into Swedish Masters quarters

Rajiv Ouseph began his 2015 season with two victories at the Swedish Masters on Friday.

Hounslow’s world number 27 is the top seed in Uppsala, and the only player in the tournament ranked inside the top 40.

He enjoyed straight games wins over France’s Thomas Rouxel, 21-16, 21-11, and Netherlands’ Erik Meijs, 21-16, 21-13, to book his place in Saturday’s quarter-finals.

There, Ouseph will face a qualifier, Germany’s Fabian Roth, who accounted for fifth seed Petr Koukal.

There was no such danger of an upset for Ouseph, as he first overcame world number 77 Rouxel on Friday morning.

The west Londoner powered away in the middle of the opening game, as 8-7 quickly became 17-9. At 20-11, Rouxel saved five game points but Ouseph had enough credit in the bank to prevent a comeback and seal it at the sixth attempt.

The lead alternated several times at the start of the second game. But at 10-9, Ouseph once again hit his stride to win 11 of the next 13 points – including six in a row – and underline his higher ranking.

It was a similar story against Meijs, the world number 84.

There was little between the pair for much of the first game, but Ouseph grabbed his chance at 15-14 and six points out of eight saw him clinch it.

The 28-year-old Englishman kept his nose in front throughout the second game, seeing off mini fightbacks by Meijs to lead 14-12.

And his sprint finish kicked in again, closing the match out by winning seven of the final eight points.

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