ISLAMABAD: For the first time in the history of Pakistan Open Squash not a single local player has made it to the quarter-finals, leaving it to foreigners to play for the honours and cash at the Mushaf Ali Mir Complex.
The Wednesday’s pre-quarter-finals saw all locals bowing out one after another as four Egyptians, two each from Hong Kong and Malaysia made it to the last eight stage. There was no joy for the local fans as even their support and backing was not enough to get at least one survivor going into the quarter-finals.
It all started with the fall of Farhan Zaman who had carrying no winning prescription with him and was there only to lose. Egyptian Mazen Hesham defeated Farhan rather easily 11-9, 11-6, 11-6. Though Farhan showed some signs of fight in the first game, he was never up to the required standard during the rest of match and conceded the match easily.
“I was not hundred percent fit and was on antibiotics going into match. That was the very reason of notup decent show in the match. Though I tried a bit in the first game, I was unable to bring my best to the fore and lost the match easily,” Farhan said after the match.
The body language of Pakistan players was not all that encouraging as they hardly had the required confidence required winning such big matches.
Then came the turn of Ehsan Ayaz who was pitted against Egypt’s Zahed Mohamed at the all glass court in the pre-quarters. The Egyptian started the match with one after another error, hitting four in a row to give Ahsan early advantage.
The Pakistani grabbed the first game and that was all he had in the match. Zahed then took over and handled Ahsan with utmost ease, taking one after another points to win 7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-2.
Tayab Aslam also proved second best in the match against Mohamed Abouelghar who defeated him 11-5, 11-5, 13-11. Experienced campaigner had no clue as what was happening in the first two game. He was only seen trying to make amends in the third which the second seed Abouelghar won easily.
Title favourite Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy) was as cool as ever as he spared just 25 minutes for Mohd Syafiq Kamal (Mas), winning 11-8, 11-7, 11-9.Malaysian though showed signs of brilliance it always been a tough task for him to threaten Marwan El Shorbagy who knew well how to finish off the game and match.
Results: Pre-quarter-finals: Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy) bt Mohd Syafiq Kamal (Mas) 11-8, 11-7, 11-9; Mazen Hesham (Egy) bt Farhan Zaman (Pak) 11-9, 11-6, 11-6; Eain Yow Ng (Mas) bt Tsz Fung Yip (Hkg) 12-10, 11-7 (retd); Zahed Mohamed (Egy) bt Ahsan Ayaz (Pak) 7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-2;Leo Au (Hkg) bt Shehab Essam (Egy) 11-9, 5-11, 11-5, 11-1; Max Lee (Hkg) bt Mazen Gamal (Egy) 11-5, 5-11, 11-5, 11-1; Nafizwan Adnan (Mas) bt Peter Creed (Wal) 11-7, 11-4, 11-6; Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy) bt Tayyab Aslam (Pak) 11-5, 11-5, 13-11.