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GRADUATE AZLAN AMJAD WINS ASPIRE PSA TOURNAMENT

25 Mar 2017, General

Doha, 25 March 2017. Aspire graduate Syed Azlan Amjad retained his Aspire Academy Closed PSA Satellite Trophy on Thursday with a hard fought 3-0 victory over fellow Aspire Academy scholarship holder Umair Zaman. Amjad’s high intensity style of play proved too much for Zaman in the first two games and he took them convincingly 11/8 11/7. However at the start of the third Zaman came out with a new game plan, slowing the pace and keeping the ball tight to the walls, pegging Amjed into the back corners. Zaman build a commanding 8/1 lead in the game and looked all set to take the match into a fourth set, but in his rush to finish off the game he made a couple of quick unforced errors and lost his focus. Amjad sensed his opportunity and was suddenly playing with renewed confidence, picking up the pace and establishing control of the rallies once again. With Zaman unable to find his accuracy Amjad raced through to take the game 11/9 and with it the match.

“It was a good challenge playing my cousin the final and we know each other too well, as we train and practice together. I am pleased to win this PSA Aspire Academy tournament again and hope next time round we can have even more competitive foreign players to get us the tough competition we need to improve. It was good to have Spanish players playing but as l said next time we hope for even stronger pool of foreign players to challenge us. Now l turn my attention to the forthcoming GCC tournament in Saudi Arabia where all of us top Qatari players will be competing. My goal is to make it a final between Abdulla Al Tamimi and myself and thus assure a Qatar 1 and 2 positions,“ Syed Azlan Amjad said after the final game.

Elsewhere in the draw there were several upsets, most notably from unseeded Spanish junior Aron Gomez, who took out the number 3 seed and Qatar number 3 Abdulrahman Al-Malki, in an epic five set battle. His run was brought to an end in the quarter finals by Aspire grade 11 student Hamad Al-Amri, who beat the young Spaniard in three close games. However, at just 15 years of age, Gomez is certainly a name to watch out for in the future.

Al-Amri also took a notable scalp in his first round, beating Qatar number 5 Ahmed Al-Tamimi 3-2. This was his first victory over his fellow Qatar national team member and his performance this week strengthens his position as one of Qatar’s top players.

Three other Aspire students, Abdulaziz Al-Ishaq, Rashid Al-Harib and Waleed Zaman, also participated in the event. They all performed admirably against older and more experienced opponents but were unable to progress past the first round. Al-Ishaq was closest to providing an upset, leading 2-1 against 19 year old Xurxo Codesido Perez, but the consistency and fitness of the Spaniard proved decisive as he claimed the next two games.

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