LAHORE - Pakistan’s Asim Khan went down fighting against Yousaf Soliman of Egypt in the first quarterfinal of the FMC International Men Squash Championship 2018 here at a local hotel on Wednesday night.

Asim fought very well against higher ranked player and gave him tough fight before bowing out of the quarterfinal by 3-1. The highly-charged first game saw Asim playing superbly and leveling the score 11-11. At this crucial stage, Asim started playing aggressively which paid dividend and he managed to win the first 13/11. The Egyptian played better squash in the second game and took little time to tame the local lad 11/7.

Asim, who was being cheered and supported well by jam-packed crowd, bounced back in style and won the third game 11/7. But after playing so well in the third game, he gifted away the fourth game 2/11 but the fifth game proved to be a real see-saw battle as both the players displayed tremendous squash skills and prowess and in the end, the Egyptian utilized his international experience and skills to tame spirited Asim by 12/10 to earn a hard-fought 3-2 victory and also booked berth in the semifinals.

Earlier speaking at the press conference held here at a local hotel on Wednesday, Punjab Squash Association (PSA) Secretary Sheraz Saleem has said that the FMC International Men Squash Championship 2018 has shifted to four-glass court after a gap of 16 years as earlier, Lahore hosted an international event glass court in 2002.

The PSA Secretary said now the quarterfinals, semifinals and final of the prestigious event will be contested in the four-glass court while the next international squash event, which is being sponsored by Faletti's Hotel, will also be played in the same court at the same venue.

Sheraz said that Pakistani players are in good form and have qualified for the quarterfinals. “I hope Pakistani players will give out their best to make way to semifinals and final and try to clinch the coveted trophy.”

FMC Managing Director Farooq Shahid said that this is ninth international squash event, they are sponsoring and they are keen to further promote this game, in which Pakistan ruled the world for decades. “I am very glad that a great number of international players have been participating in this prestigious international event, and I hope it will surely help our players to improve their games as well as international rankings.”

Speaking on the occasion, international players from England and Hong Kong also praised the hospitality and respect being given to them by Pakistani people and hosts. They termed security as foolproof adding that they are safe and playing squash in a very friendly and pleasant atmosphere.

“Pakistani players are good in squash and we are getting tough time from them. We are enjoying our Pakistani tour a lot and are keen to come and play squash here again.”