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Monday, April 19, 2021

Lobban holds on to clinch title in KL

Lee Hortonhttps://squashmad.com
Former Sun, Mirror, People and Sunday Express sports executive. Knows a bit about newspapers and the art of talking a good game. Brighter than some but a way to go to match others.

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Scotland’s Greg Lobban claimed the second PSA World Tour title of his career after surviving a five-game epic against Ahmad Al-Saraj in the NSC SRAM Series No.2, the PSA Challenger 5 squash event at the Bukit Jalil National Squash Centre in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

The number one seed was taken the full distance in the quarter-finals, before overcoming unseeded Egyptian Shehab Essam Hosny in an 81-minute marathon.

By contrast, it took the 21-year-old from Edinburgh just 15 minutes to come through the semi-finals – when Pakistan opponent Muhammad Shoaib Hassan retired injured midway through the second game.

Lobban was celebrating his sixth appearance in a PSA Tour final – while his 18-year-old Al-Saraj became the first Jordanian ever to claim a second Tour final berth when he beat seventh-seeded Pakistani Waqas Mehboob in the other semi.

Al-Saraj, the second seed from Amman, led 2-1 in the final as a historic first-ever Tour win by a player from Jordan looked on the cards.

But Inverness-born Lobban, ranked 85 in the world, dug deep to claw back the initiative, eventually beating the Jordanian teenager, ranked 44 places below, 11-1, 9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9 in 70 minutes.

“Second PSA title. Delighted,” tweeted Lobban later. “Now to savour this moment and enjoy sightseeing around KL. These kinds of moments don’t happen all the time!”

Results: PSA Challenger 5 NSC SRAM Series No2, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Final:
[1] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt [2] Ahmad Al-Saraj (JOR) 11-1, 9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9 (70m)

Semi-finals:
[1] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Muhammad Shoaib Hassan (PAK) 11-4, 6-1 ret. (15m)
[2] Ahmad Al-Saraj (JOR) bt [7] Waqas Mehboob (PAK) 7-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-8 (45m)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Shehab Essam Hosny (EGY) 6-11, 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-5 (81m)
Muhammad Shoaib Hassan (PAK) bt [8] Kwon Hyeon-Jun (KOR) 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7 (44m)
[7] Waqas Mehboob (PAK) bt [Q] Ahmed Hussein (EGY) 7-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-5 (32m)
[2] Ahmad Al-Saraj (JOR) bt [6] Addeen Idrakie (MAS) 11-1, 11-8, 11-9 (35m)

Second round:
[1] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Valentino Bon Jovi Bong (MAS) 12-14, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8 (55m)
Shehab Essam Hosny (EGY) bt [5] Sanjay Singh (MAS) 7-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-9 (37m)
[8] Kwon Hyeon-Jun (KOR) bt Ismail Rauf (PAK) 14-12, 11-5, 12-10 (31m)
Muhammad Shoaib Hassan (PAK) bt SeungYong Yoo (KOR) 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (32m)
[Q] Ahmed Hussein (EGY) bt Kush Kumar (IND) 11-7, 11-7 ret.
[7] Waqas Mehboob (PAK) bt JaeJin Yoo (KOR) 11-8, 11-6, 11-3 (21m)
[6] Addeen Idrakie (MAS) bt [Q] Yovineshan AL Ramathash (MAS) 11-6, 11-5, 11-4 (20m)
[2] Ahmad Al-Saraj (JOR) bt Mohamed El Tabaa (EGY) 11-8, 11-8, 12-10 (41m)

First round:
[1] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Hannan Tarmidi (MAS) 11-7, 11-3, 11-5 (23m)
Valentino Bon Jovi Bong (MAS) bt [Q] Amir Farhan (MAS) 11-9, 11-2, 11-4 (28m)
Shehab Essam Hosny (EGY) bt Tatu Knuutila (FIN) 11-6, 11-5, 11-7 (21m)
[5] Sanjay Singh (MAS) bt [Q] Agustin Cobos (ESP) 11-1, 11-4, 11-1 (15m)
[8] Kwon Hyeon-Jun (KOR) bt SungYoung Kim (KOR) 11-1, 12-10, 5-11, 11-1 (40m)
Ismail Rauf (PAK) bt [Q] Samuel Chan (MAS) 11-7, 11-8, 14-12 (22m)
SeungYong Yoo (KOR) bt Courtney West (AUS) 12-10, 11-5, 9-11, 12-10 (49m)
Muhammad Shoaib Hassan (PAK) bt [4] Yuta Fukui (JPN) 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 (37m)
[Q] Ahmed Hussein (EGY) bt [3] Yousif Nizar Saleh (KUW) 11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8 (48m)
Kush Kumar (IND) bt Gurshan Singh (MAS) 8-11, 12-10, 11-9, 2-11, 11-7 (41m)
JaeJin Yoo (KOR) bt [Q] Mohd Farez Izwan (MAS) 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 16-14 (39m)
[7] Waqas Mehboob (PAK) bt Haseeb Gul (PAK) 11-3, 11-8, 11-3 (21m)
[6] Addeen Idrakie (MAS) bt [Q] Ng Eain Yow (MAS) 11-6, 11-7, 5-11, 11-2 (29m)
[Q] Yovineshan AL Ramathash (MAS) bt Muhammad Yasir Khan (PAK) 11-3, 11-8, 11-4 (31m)
Mohamed El Tabaa (EGY) bt Pablo Rawden (ENG) 11-8, 11-7, 10-12, 14-12
[2] Ahmad Al-Saraj (JOR) bt [Q] David Clegg (AUS) 11-8, 11-1, 11-7 (20m)

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