Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Mehboob repeats 2008 feat to win CNS International

Mehboob makes history as he completes a hat-trick of upsets to down top seed Iqbal and triumph in Pakistan
By MICHAEL CATLING – Squash Mad Reporter

UNSEEDED defending champion Farhan Mehboob retained his CNS International crown, with a shock straight game victory over favourite Nasir Iqbal in Pakistan.

Mehboob, who knocked out second and third seeds Farhan Zaman and Danish Atlas Khan respectively en route to making the final, had lost the previous three meetings between the pair but duly ended his losing streak with a comprehensive 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 victory at the  Roshan Khan Jahangir Khan Squash Complex.

The left-handed world number 147 (pictured left) becomes the first player this year to win an event after beating the top three seeds.

“It was a big moment in my career, as critics had long written me down and out and said my days are over, but now I proved all my critics wrong by defeating the top seed Nasir and that too without any major difficulty,” Mehboob told The Nation later.

“I must thank head coach Jamshed Gul for spending a lot of time with me in the training as it was his hard work which paid off. Another motivation behind me was my father Mehboob Khan who also spent day and night with me in the courts to polish my game and skills.

“I am happy that the performance in this event is one of the best in my entire career and I have not trained much before the event. I have to play the likes of Danish, Farhan Zaman and now Nasir Iqbal, but I managed to show outstanding skills against the three tough opponents and won the title.”

But while Mehboob put the disappointment of his qualifying exit at the World Championships behind him, it was a disappointing conclusion to 2013 for the 19-year-old Iqbal, who was searching for his third PSA Tour title this year.

However, he failed to reach the same heights that saw him despatch fourth seed Aamir Atlas Khan just 24 hours earlier, as the nephew of Jansher Khan claimed the bragging rights in the all-Pakistan final in just under an hour.

The 25-year-old, who won the last running of the event in 2008, will now hope victory at the $15,000 event catapults him back into the top 100, less than four years after he reached a career high 16th in the world rankings.

Final Result:

Farhan Mehboob (Pak) 3-0 [1] Nasir Iqbal (Pak) 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (51m)

Source: The Nation; Pictures by Steve Cubbins (SquashSite)

Giant-killer Mehboob eyes Pakistan prize after scraping past Farhan Zaman in CNS International semi-final
By MICHAEL CATLING – Squash Mad Reporter

DEFENDING champion Farhan Mehboob upset the seedings once again to defeat Farhan Zaman in five games and advance into the final of the CNS International in Pakistan.

In a repeat of their first-round battle in the $15,000 event five years ago, Mehboob claimed the bragging rights once again with a 11-8, 11-8, 4-11, 6-11, 11-6 victory to secure his first PSA Tour final appearance since the CAS International in September 2012.

The left-hander will now compete for the winner’s cheque against top seed Nabil Iqbal (pictured right), after the 19-year-old overcame fourth seed Aamir Atlas Khan in four games. 

Mehboob, who won the last running of the event in 2008, endured a 114 minute epic in the first-round and while he needed considerably less time to overcome his compatriot in the semi-final, Iqbal will be confident of capitalising on another energy-zapping five-set match for the 25-year-old.

Mehboob, a former world number 16, was nearly left to rue squandering a two-game lead at the Roshan Khan Jahangir Khan Squash Complex, as number two seed Zaman took the match into a decider.

However, the world number 147 recovered his composure to dominate the fifth game and secure victory in 61 minutes. In contrast, Iqbal needed five minutes less to prevail over Khan, the 2008 runner-up, 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4.

Iqbal eased into the semi-finals without dropping a game and while the world number 54 blotted his clean sheet record after surrendering the third-game, he produced an emphatic response to stay on course for a third PSA Tour title this year.

Semi-Final Results:

[1] Nasir Iqbal (Pak) v [4] Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak) 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4 (56m)
Farhan Mehboob (Pak) v [2] Farhan Zaman (Pak) 11-8, 11-8, 4-11, 6-11, 11-6 (61m)

Pictures by Steve Cubbins (SquashSite)


Top seeds cruise through to Karachi semis
By MICHAEL CATLING – Squash Mad Reporter

UNSEEDED Farhan Mehboob showed little signs of fatigue following his mammoth first-round victory, as he stormed past Muhammad Saqib Yousaf in the quarter-finals of the CNS International Pakistan Circuit IV.

The former world number 16 needed nearly two hours to overcome third seed Danish Atlas Khan on Friday afternoon, but made up for lost time with a comfortable 11-7, 11-3, 11-9 victory over Yousaf in just 35 minutes.

The left-hander (pictured above) will now meet second seed Farhan Zaman in the last four, after the 20-year-old thrashed Khawaja Adil Maqbool 11-1, 11-7, 11-6 at the Roshan Khan Jahangir Khan Squash Complex in Karachi. 

Top seed and world number 54 Nasir Iqbal also remains on course to net the winner’s cheque after overpowering Tayyab Aslam 11-7, 11-1, 11-8.

Iqbal’s win secures a semi-final encounter with fourth seed Aamir Atlas Khan, after the 23-year-old withstood a late fightback from Syed Ali Mujtaba Shah Bokharit to triumph 11-6, 11-9, 13-11 in just over half an hour. 

The $15,000 event, which controversially features solely Pakistani players this year, concludes on Monday with both semi-final matches scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

Semi-Final Draw:

[1] Nasir Iqbal (Pak) v [4] Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak)
Farhan Mehboob (Pak) v [2] Farhan Zaman (Pak)

Quarter-Final Results:

[1] Nasir Iqbal (Pak) 3-0 Tayyab Aslam (Pak) 11-7, 11-1, 11-8 (35m)
[4] Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak) 3-0 Syed Ali Mujtaba Shah Bokhari (Pak) 11-6, 11-9, 13-11 (31m)
Farhan Mehboob (Pak) v Muhammad Saqib Yousaf (Pak) 11-7, 11-3, 11-9 (35m)
[2] Farhan Zaman (Pak) v Khawaja Adil Maqbool (Pak) 11-1, 11-7, 11-6 (34m)

Pictures by Steve Cubbins (SquashSite)

Mehboob claims the bragging rights again as he downs Danish in near two hour epic
By MICHAEL CATLING – Squash Mad Reporter

FARHAN MEHBOOB completed a hat-trick of upsets over fellow compatriot and number three seed Danish Atlas Khan, as the unseeded Pakistani battled to a marathon 3-2 win in the first round of the CNS International Pakistan Circuit IV. 

Left-hander Mehboob (pictured below) had won the pairs previous two encounters and extended his winning streak over the higher-ranked Khan with a gruelling 14-12, 11-6, 7-11, 9-11, 11-9 in 114 minutes at the Roshan Khan Jahangir Khan Squash Complex in Karachi. 

Mehboob, a former world number 16 now languishing at 147 in the PSA world rankings, won the $15,000 event back in 2008 and will now meet fellow non-seed Muhammad Saqib Yousaf for a place in the last four, after the 22-year-old overcame Muhammad Asim Khan 11-6, 14-12, 11-6.

However, top seed and world number 54 Nasir Iqbal survived his opening encounter in straight games, beating Waqas Mehboob 11-9, 11-4, 11-7.

Elsewhere, number four seed stayed on course for a semi-final showdown with Iqbal after defeating twice-runner-up Mansoor Zaman in straight games, while second seed Farhan Zaman breezed past Israr Ahmed 3-0 in just 22 minutes.

First-Round Results:

[1] Nasir Iqbal (Pak) 3-0 Waqas Mehboob (Pak) 11-9, 11-4, 11-7 (36m)
Tayyab Aslam (Pak) 3-1 Nosherwan Khan (Pak) 11-8, 11-13, 11-3, 11-9 (51m)
Syed Ali Mujtaba Shah Bokhari (Pak) 3-0 [Q] Haseeb Gul (Pak) 11-5, 11-9, 12-10 (28m)
[4] Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak) 3-0 Mansoor Zaman (Pak) 11-4, 11-3, 11-8 (30m)
Farhan Mehboob (Pak) 3-2 [3] Danish Atlas Khan (Pak) 14-12, 11-6, 7-11, 9-11, 11-9 (114m)
Muhammad Saqib Yousaf (Pak) 3-0 [Q] Muhammad Asim Khan (Pak) 11-6, 14-12, 11-6 (44m)
Khawaja Adil Maqbool (Pak) 3-0 [Q] Amaad Fareed (Pak) 11-2, 11-8, 13-11 (22m)
[2] Farhan Zaman (Pak) 3-0 [Q] Israr Ahmed (Pak) 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (22m)

Pictures by Steve Cubbins (SquashSite)

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