Annie, Sivasangari enter CAS Int’l Women Squash final

ISLAMABAD – Top seed Ainie Au of Hong Kong survived close scare before making it to the finals of the $25,000 CAS International Women Championship 2017, as she came from behind to beat Egyptian World Junior champion Rowan Elaraby 3-2 here at Mushaf Squash Complex on Thursday.

It was breath-taking first semifinal on display between the top seed Ainie Au and teenage Egyptian Rowan Elaraby, who lost the semifinal just because of her age and not having the much-needed experience what Ainie was enjoying. The first game started on a mixed note, as both the players committed too many mistakes. Ainie was looking nervous and was giving too much respect to Rowan. The game continued to swing from one way to another, before Ainie won it 13-11 in 9 minutes.

The second game was identical to first one, as Ainie was playing cautiously, while Rowan was aggressive and playing natural game, which helped her win the game 11-8 in 12 minutes. She took the third game 11-5 in just 7 minutes. A true champion showed her class and experienced, when it mattered the most as Ainie bounced back to win the fourth game 11-8 in 9 minutes while Rowan took 5 minutes injury time out, as she collided with Ainie.

It was all Ainie in the fifth and final game, where she simply routed Rowan and took commanding 9-0 lead, before Rowan took two points and managed to save one match point, but it was too little too late for the youngster, who had all the credentials of becoming undisputed queen of squash in the years to come, as she bowed out 11-2 in the final game in just 5 minutes.

In the second semifinal, an upset was witnessed when 6-time world champion Australian Rachael Gringham was stunned by Malaysian Sivasangari Subramaniam 3-0. Young Sivasangari was playing the match of her life, as she was cool, calm and composed against experienced Rachael. It was on papers no match between inexperienced Sivasangari and Rachael, but the energetic Sivasangari simply outclassed the veteran, winning first game 11-9, second 11-7 and third 11-5 to send Rachael packing. Although there was a highly thick crowd present on the occasion, yet they were given real run for their money, as both the semifinals provided great entertainment to them.

In $50,000 Pakistan Open Men’s Squash, top seed Egyptian Marwan El Shorbagy set semifinal clash against compatriot Zahed Mohamed after registering convincing straight games victory against fellow countryman Mazen Hesham in the quarterfinals.

Marwan routed Mazen Hesham 3-0 in just 38 minutes, as he won the first game 11-8, second 11-8 and the third 11-6 to enter the semifinals. Talking to The Nation, Marwan fully praised the hospitality and top class accommodation provided to him and other international players and they were feeling like home. “I would love to come again and again to play in Pakistan, as I feel no security or other issues. I just came here to win the coveted trophy for which I am pretty hopeful of lifting it.” In the second quarterfinal, Zahed Mohamed beat Malaysian Eain Yow Ng 3-1 in 48 minutes. Zahed won 11-9, 11-8, 6-11 and 11-9. The third quarterfinal saw Hong Kong’s Leo Au shocking compatriot 3-2 retired in 70 minutes. Low won the first game 13-11, lost the second 4-11, won the third 11-8, lost the fourth 7-11 and was leading 5-4, when Lee got injured and forfeited the match.

In the fourth and last quarterfinal, Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar staged tremendous comeback to beat Malaysian Nafiizwan Adnan 3-2 in almost one hour. Abouelghar lost first game 8-11 but won the second 11-6. He again lost the third game 9-11, but against won the fourth 11-5 and fifth and decisive game 11-7 to set semifinal date with Hong Kong’s Leo Au.

Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) senior vice president Air Marshal Shaid Akhtar Alvi was the chief guest on the occasion, while former world champion Qamar Zaman, secretary Tahir Sultan and others were also present there. Talking to The Nation, legend Jahangir Khan said: “Resumption of Pakistan Open is a great news for all the sports-loving fans of Pakistan. The local players must improve their performance in future events. The way huge amount of international mega stars are participating in both the events, is a clear indication that Pakistan is completely safe to host international events.”

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More