Egyptian fights back to beat Pakistan’s Fahran Zaman after losing first two games in Dubai Cup
By Squash Mad Reporter
Top seed Karim Abdel Gawad came close to a shock exit against Farhan Zaman in the first round of the 2014 Dubai Squash Cup, International 25 tournament.
With 52 places between the two in the world rankings, few would have expected Zaman to give Gawad such a run for his money but it was the Pakistani player who shot into action first, controlling the opening two games to put clear daylight between his Egyptian opponent and himself.
Gawad rallied and clawed back an 11-7 win in the third before demolishing Zaman in the fourth to win it 11-0 and draw rapturous applause from the crowd and he remained focused to take a tight final game 11-8 to advance to the next round.
“He [Zaman] is one of my best friends on the tour,” said Gawad. “We grew up together, but this is the first time we have played together since we were nine years old. But of course, I know how good he is.
“I was expecting a very tough match. I’m a bit lucky, I was down 2-0 and managed to win in five. I’m just looking forward for my next matches.”
Gawad will face Ammar Altamimi in the second round after the 26-year-old from Kuwait made it past wildcard Aamir Malik in straight sets while Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan did fall to a shock loss to Aamir Atlas Khan.
The number four seed went 2-0 down to the unseeded Pakistani before levelling it up with some masterful squash. Khan though was able to stop the momentum swing and secured an unlikely victory by winning the final game 11-5.
He will be hoping to take this form into the next round where he will face Tayyab Aslam after his 3-1 win over Muhammad Saqib Yousaf.
Number two seed Chris Simpson is also through to the next round after he triumphed in an efficient performance against qualifier Shehab Essam Hosny 3-0. The Englishman defeated his opponent 11-4, 11-4 and 11-6 to set up a second round match against Hossam Nasser, who secured a terrific 3-2 win over Addeen Idrakie in the previous round.
The Dubai-based Adil Maqbool enjoyed his 3-1 triumph over New Zealander Lance Beddoes, clinching the match 9-11, 14-12, 11-8, 12-10, with the scoreline showing just how tough the rallies were.
Dubai Cup (First Round):
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Farhan Zaman (PAK) 9-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-0, 11-8 (60m)
Ammar Altamimi (KUW) bt [WC] Aamir Malik (UAE) 11-7, 12-10, 11-3 (30m)
Khawaja Adil Maqbool (PAK) bt [Q] Lance Beddoes (NZL) 9-11, 14-12, 11-8, 12-10 (43m)
 Zahed Mohamed (EGY) bt Danish Atlas Khan (PAK) 8-11, 11-5, 6-11, 14-12, 11-6 (65m)
 Nasir Iqbal (PAK) bt [Q] Mike Lewis (USA) 11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-4 (29m)
[Q] Ahmed Effat Ashoush (EGY) bt Alex Ingham (ENG) 11-6, 13-11, 4-11, 1-11, 11-8 (45m)
[Q] Christo Potgieter (RSA) bt Robert Downer (ENG) 12-10, 11-9, 11-6 (33m)
 Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [Q] Patrick Miescher (SUI) 11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 12-10 (40m)
Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) bt  Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 11-5, 11-6, 2-11, 6-11, 11-5 (49m)
Tayyab Aslam (PAK) bt Muhammad Saqib Yousaf (PAK) 11-7, 3-11, 11-7, 11-9 (40m)
Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) bt Reiko Peter (SUI) 5-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 (63m)
 Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) bt [Q] Muhammad Asim Khan (PAK) 5-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-5 (30m)
Farhan Mehboob (PAK) bt [LL] Pablo Rawden (ENG) 11-6, 11-3, 11-5 (20m)
Paul Coll (NZL) bt Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 9-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7 (55m)
[Q] Hossam Nasser (EGY) bt Addeen Idrakie (MAS) 11-4, 13-11, 6-11, 0-11, 11-9 (60m)
 Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [Q] Shehab Essam Hosny (EGY) 11-4, 11-4, 11-6 (33m)
Picture by NITESH SQUARE