Maqbool maintains unbeaten record in Abu Dhabi
By Squash Mad Reporter
Abu Dhabi: Five months after winning his 10th Abu Dhabi Open title, UAE’s number 1 squash player, Adil Maqbool, extended his unbeaten run in the country by winning the 3rd ISC UNB UAE Open Squash Championship.
Maqbool got the better of Aamir Khan of Pakistan in a closely-contested final which went to the fifth at the Indian Social and Cultural Centre in Abu Dhabi.
“I found myself two games to one down in the final and had to dig deep to mount a successful comeback,” said Maqbool, a Dubai resident.
“I feel this is the best Aamir has played against me. He was fitter and faster than in our last few finals, but I have been training with my father and coach, Maqbool Khawaja, for the last few months on particular aspects of my game and I feel that is what made the difference as I was able to absorb whatever he was throwing at me.”
Aamir took the first game but Maqbool responded strongly, taking the second. The third saw Maqbool take a 5-1 lead but a strong comeback from Aamir saw the game going to a tie break before Aamir took it through an error from the racket of Maqbool to lead two games to one.
Maqbool responded strongly in the fourth after doing down 2-0 and took the game 11-5.
The fifth was a close affair with Aamir playing catch up through the entire game as Maqbool led by a point till 5-all and then a series of fast-paced rallies left Aamir winded as he made a few unforced errors to give Maqbool the championship point at 10-7. Maqbool claimed his second consecutive ISC UAE Open title on his first chance wrapping up the game 11-7.
‘I increased the pace a little more in the fourth and fifth and that seemed to unsettle Aamir a bit as he started to make a few errors,” said the 27 year-old of Pakistani origin, who has not yet lost to his closest rival on the local tour.
Earlier, in the semi-finals, Maqbool got the better of UAE under-19 No. 1 and senior No. 3, Sandeep Ramachandran, 12-10 10-12 11-6 11-0, while in the quarter-final, he got past Mohammed Al Ramly in straight games.
‘It was a very difficult match for me mentally and I am very pleased to have come though to win. This will definitely help me on the international circuit in the coming months,” added Maqbool, who has a busy end of the year ahead with four PSA World Tour events lined up.
“I have had a good run on the PSA circuit since the Tour started again after the summer break. I made the quarter-final in the Nantes International in France. I will next be playing the President Gold Cup in Islamabad next month, the London Open in November, followed by the Valencia Open and Qatar Circuit 2 in December.”