ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s seasoned campaigner Farhan Zaman took a flying start to the CAS-Serena Hotels Combaxx Sports International Squash Championship as he overpowered higher-ranked Robert Downer of England in the first round here at the Mushaf Squash Complex on Monday.

Farhan, the World No.130, outclassed Downer in a four-game match lasting 42 minutes.

Looking in excellent touch, the 29-year-old Farhan completely dominated the proceedings in the opening game which he comfortably won 11-1. However, Downer made a good comeback to take the second game 12-10. But the Peshawar-born Farhan regained his composure and bagged the next two games 12-10, 11-9 to win the match.

In another match, veteran Pakistan player Farhan Mehboob registered a comfortable victory against his compatriot and wild card entrant Hamza Sharif 11-8, 11-8,11-8 in just 29 minutes. Farhan, 32, played some brilliant strokes and crosscourt shots during his opening-round match to earn applause from the spectators.

Meanwhile, Amaad Fareed of Pakistan took 28 minutes to tame Russian Vladislav Titov in straight games (11-1, 11-5, 11-7) while another home player Israr Ahmed after some struggle overwhelmed wild card entrant Noor Zaman 11-5, 7-11, 11-6, 11-5 to make the next round.

In the women’s event, Pakistan’s Rushna Mehboob defeated compatriot Hira Aqeel 11-8, 11-7, 12-10 in just 18 minutes and Riffat Khan defeated Saima Shoukat 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-3 to move into the next round of the championship.

Apart from Pakistani players, 21 foreign players from Czech Republic, Egypt, England, France, Hong Kong, Russia, Serbia, Spain and Switzerland are participating in this event.

Results (first round):

Men’s: Tayyab Aslam (Pakistan) got bye; Amaad Fareed (Pakistan) bt Vladislav Titov (Russia) 11-1, 11-5, 11-7 (28min); Martin Svec (Czech Republic) bt Danish Atlas Khan (Pakistan) 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (29min); Tsz Kwan Lau (Hong Kong) got bye; Asim Khan (Pakistan) got bye; Farhan Zaman (Pakistan) bt Robert Downer (England) 11-1, 10-12, 12-10, 11-9 (42min); Khaled Labib (Egypt) bt Zahir Shah (Pakistan) 11-8, 11-8, 11-2 (21min); Auguste Dussourd (France) got bye; Moustafa El Sirty (Egypt) got bye; Farhan Mehboob (Pakistan) bt Hamza Sharif (Pakistan) 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 (29min); Chi Him Wong (Hong Kong) bt Omar ElKattan (Egypt) 11-7, 11-6, 11-6 (20min); Max Lee (HKG) got bye; Henry Leung (Hong Kong) got bye; Hugo Varela (Spain) bt Waqas Mehboob (Pakistan) 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 (34min); Israr Ahmed (Pakistan) bt Noor Zaman (Pakistan) 11-5, 7-11, 11-6, 11-5 (35min); Karim El Hammamy (Egypt) got bye.

Women’s: Nadia Pfister (Switzerland) got bye; Rushna Mehboob (Pakistan) bt Hira Aqeel (Pakistan) 11-8, 11-7, 12-10 (18min); Riffat Khan (Pakistan) bt Saima Shaukat (Pakistan) 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-3 (18min); Fayrouz Aboelkheir (Egypt) got bye; Farah Momen (Egypt) got bye; Nimra Aqeel (Pakistan) bt Naureena Shams (Pakistan) 11-1, 11-1, 11-2 (6min); Sana Bahader (Pakistan) bt Aiman Shahbaz (Pakistan) 11-9, 11-6, 11-4 (13min); Salma Eltayeb (Egypt) got bye; Nour Aboulmakarim (Egypt) got bye; Nadeen Kotb (Egypt) bt Kainat Amir (Pakistan) 11-2, 11-5,11-1 (13min); Sadia Gul (Pakistan) bt Fehmina Asim (Pakistan) 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (13min); Jelena Dutina (Serbia) got bye; Noor ul Huda (Pakistan) got bye; Komal Khan (Pakistan) bt Noor-ul-Ain Ijaz (Pakistan) 11-3, 6-11, 12-10, 11-5 (31min); Anam Mustafa Aziz (Pakistan) bt Sammer Anjum (Pakistan) 4-1 (retired hurt); Marie Stephan (France) got bye.

Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2021

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