Farag Claims CCI Mumbai Title

Farag (L) claimed his fourth and largest PSA title in Mumbai.

Farag (L) claimed his fourth and largest PSA title in Mumbai.

Report and images courtesy of the Professional Squash Association

Harvard graduate Ali Farag capped a sensational week of squash in the Indian city of Mumbai by defeating Pakistan’s number one player Nasir Iqbal in the final of the CCI PSA International Squash Championship Sunday.

Farag, world No. 192, triumphed in the final of the International 25 competition courtesy of an impressive 3-2, 11-7, 7-11, 5-11, 11-1, 11-9 victory over high-flying World No. 53 Iqbal to finish what has been a momentous week for the the twenty-two-year-old from Cairo.

Farag and Iqbal trophyHaving only earned his berth in the main draw courtesy of two hard-fought victories in qualification, Farag first stunned tournament favorite and World No. 16 Saurav Ghosal in round one before defeating Kristian Frost Olesen and Zahed Mohamed, the tournament’s number eight and six seeds, to set up a title-decider with number three seed Iqbal.

It was Farag who started brighter in the tournament decider but Iqbal, the twenty-year-old from Peshawar, fought back to take a 2-1 lead as he looked to add to the FMC Pakistan International Circuit and Emerson Racquet Club Pro Series titles he won earlier this year.

But Farag showed his composure to force the match into a dramatic decider before prevailing by the narrowest of margins, taking the crucial fifth game 11-9 to win his first PSA World Tour title since 2012.

“It was a very tough match, “said Farag in the wake of victory.

“He came back by playing better and smarter especially in the fifth game and all I had to do was keep going.”

“It was a close match and anybody could have won, ” said runner-up Iqbal. “As much I wanted to win the title, this tournament was very good for me.”

During senior year at Harvard, Farag was presented with the 2014 Skillman Award, the highest individual honor in men’s college squash, and won his first College Squash Association Team championship, and second Individual championship.

American interest in Mumbai ended in the first round as unseeded, Mumbai-native Mahesh Mangaonkar upset 2013 U.S. Champion Chris Gordon in four games.

CCI PSA International Championship 2014 – Final Result:

[Q] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [3] Nasir Iqbal (PAK) 3-2: 11-7, 7-11, 5-11, 11-1, 11-9

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