ISLAMABAD: Top seed and local hope Tayyab Aslam Thursday tumbled out of the $30,000 CAS-Serena International Squash semi-finals as the fast-emerging Frenchman Auguste Dussourd outwitted him in a five-game thriller here at the Mushaf Ali Complex.
In what turned out to be an exciting pre-final, Tayyab was unable to unsettle the well-versed Frenchman. Back from the foot injury that at one time threatened his career, Dussourd won 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 3-11, 11-4 in a match that lasted for 60 minutes.
He will now meet Moustafa El Sirty (Egypt) in the final today (Friday). The Egyptian rallied back from one game down to beat world No 71 Henry Leung (Hong Kong) 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5. It took Sirty 41 minutes to earn a spot in the final.
Tayyab was seen not in the best of form in the CAS International as he struggled with stamina, especially when the semi-final entered into the fifth game. Top seed was mostly concentrating on his ability to cover the back-court and make the best of the opportunity coming his way to gather points. The Frenchman concentrated more on long rallies, sending in occasional winner and that too when he saw Tayyab struggling to get his acts together.
Dussourd’s calculated style of play was hot to handle for Tayyab at the onset of the match as he raced to 2-0 lead within no time.
Tayyab then rallied back courtesy to a few adjustments in his game. He was more attacking and sometimes was seen playing at his best. Once the match entered the fifth game, Tayyab was seen struggling with his movement mainly due to lack of fitness issues.
“I think I had a good chance of winning the match once I drew the match level at 2-2 but I was unable to make the best use of game in the fifth game. Frenchman played brilliant squash but I had the game to beat him. I do not know why I went down so quickly in the fifth game,” Tayyab said.
The beaming Frenchman said his game was at his best in the semi-final.
“I knew I had a chance as I played my best game and hope to continue with the same vein in the final against Egyptian,” Dussourd said.
Ladies’ semi-finals saw World No 69 Marie Stephan (France) closing in on the title as she stopped Egyptian Nadeen Kotb 11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9 in 31 minutes to progress to the title decider.
“I never have won any tournament above $5,000. Here I have a good chance of breaking that jinx. Hopefully, I would maintain the same tempo in the final that I have shown in the tournament so far,” Stephan, said.
She will face world No 81 Salma El Tayab (Egypt) who defeated World No 102 Fayrouz Aboelkheir (Egypt) 11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 12-10.
Pakistan Squash Federation senior vice president Air Marshal Amir Masood was the guest of honour on the occasion.
Results: Men’s semi-finals: Auguste Dussourd (France) bt Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 3-11, 11-4; Moustafa El Sirty (Egypt) bt World No 71 Henry Leung (Hong Kong) 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5.
Women’s semi-finals: Salma El Tayab (Egypt) bt Fayrouz Aboelkheir (Egypt) 11-7, 7-11, 11-6 and 12-10; World No 69 Marie Stephan (France) bt Nadeen Kotb (Egypt) 11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9.
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