ISLAMABAD - Nasir Iqbal survived another scare from compatriot Farhan Zaman in the final qualifying round of the $70K Motor City Open 2016, as he narrowly avoided another upset victory at the hands of Farhan, winning the marathon encounter 3-2 at Detroit, USA on Friday.
Both Nasir and Farhan played exceptionally and fought for each and every point and at the end, it was Nasir who registered a hard-fought 11-3, 9-11, 11-8, 11-13, 12-10. Nasir settled down well in the first game winning it 11-3 without any major resistance. Farhan bounced back in the second game playing some aggressive squash and putting Nasir on the back foot. It was see saw battle as the game kept on swinging from one way to another before Farhan prevailed and took it 11-9. After losing second game, Nasir entered the court with different mood and played superbly to win the game 11-8.
Once again after playing so well, Nasir allowed Farhan to come back strongly in the fourth game. Although it was a close affair and it was anybody’s game, but it was Farhan, who took advantage and won the game 13-11. Same was the case in the fifth game, as both the players were not in a mood to go down without fight. The crowd was enjoying the encounter and bucking up both the players. Nasir could have easily won the game when was leading 10-9, but Farhan put extra effort to level the game at 10-10. Nasir then showed his class and took the next two points in a row to take the game 12-10, thus won the highly-grueling encounter in 1 hour and 17 minutes to set main round clash with Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly which will be held today (Saturday). Talking to The Nation from USA, Tahir Zaman, coach and elder brother of Nasir Iqbal, said: “It was a highly entertaining clash between the country’s two top professionals. Nasir was very much aware about Farhan Zaman’s present form, as he had beaten Nasir in the final of the recently-concluded DG Rangers back home. He leveled the blood by winning the marathon encounter. I am sure the way I have trained and prepared Nasir, he will give a fight to number 5 ranked Australian and register victory.”