Monday, February 26, 2024

Khan is Amman for all seasons


Pakistani teenager Danish Atlas Khan celebrated his first time back in Jordan since winning the Asian Junior Championship there in 2011 when he picked up his fifth PSA World Tour title at the First Insurance Open, the PSA Challenger 5 squash event at the Al-Hassan International Squash Center in the country’s capital Amman.

The top seed came through a tough semi – taken to five games by unseeded local star Ahmad Alzabidi, a 24-year-old from Amman ranked outside the world top 200.

In the final, world No75 Khan faced Ammar Altamimi, the No2 seed from Kuwait who scored a straight games win over Finland’s higher-ranked Matias Tuomi in the other semi.

Tied up to 11-all in the first game of the final, it was underdog Altamimi (pictured above, left, with Khan) that drew first blood by taking the opener.

After drawing level by winning the second, 19-year-old Khan moved ahead from six-all in the third to take the game and move into the lead for the first time.

“Altamimi, knowing that he had to win the fourth game to realise his dream of winning the championship, played hard and fought for every point,” said a spokesman for the event.  “This gave a seemingly comfortable lead at 7-4, but then exhaustion was apparent.

“Altamimi was not able to handle Khan’s drop shots. The score was tied at 7-7. Khan won two consecutive points and led 9-7.  The longest rally in the match was now taking place: Altamimi went after a side post from Khan and attempted a drop shot, but hit the tin.

“It was a match point. Khan served and quickly downed Altamimi 11-7 to win the game and the Championship.”

After his 11-13, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7 triumph in 71 minutes, Peshawar-based Khan received his trophy from Dr. Ali Wazani, CEO of First Insurance Company, the tournament sponsor, and Dr. Ramzi Tabbalat, President of Jordan Squash Federation.


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