ISLAMABAD - Nasir Iqbal thrashed second seed German Raphael Kandra 3-1 in 35 minutes to lift the coveted $10,000 Emerson RCP Series 2014 Squash Championship, played in St Louis, USA, Nasir outplayed vastly experienced lad in the final to beg his very first PSA title at US soil and that too in his very first appearance.
While talking exclusively with The Nation on Sunday high-flying Nasir said: “Thanks to the prayers of the nation, my hard work and coach's special attention paid dividend for me as I brushed aside Raphael Kandra, who was in sublime form throughout the championship and won his matches without dropping a single game. I was fully focused on the task ahead. I knew, if I gave even slightest of chance to the German opponent, he would not give me any second invitations and took away the final right under my nose.”
As per expectorations, Raphael settled down well in the first game and builds a healthy 5-1 lead. At that point Nasir started to settle down and played his natural aggressive game to reduce the deficit to 5-4. Raphael once again took 7-4 lead, and then it was 8-5. Nasir bounced back in style and managed to win next three points in a row to make it 8-8, then it was 9-8. At that point Nasir played superbly to win next three points to take the game 11-9. Second game started in whirlwind fashion as it was a see saw battle. Both players exchanged some quality smashes and drop shots were also witnessed during the game. Raphael finally managed to take the game 16-14. Naisr bounced back in third game to take it 11-7. By the time fourth game started, Raphael was well out of steam and Nasir stream rolled him to clinch the game 11-2 as well as the title.
“I attribute my success to the people of Pakistan and would try to do whatever I can to win more and more laurels for the country at international stage and break into top 10 PSA rankings. I know I had the ability and above all world's best coach in the shape of Jamshed Gul. Federation is backing the players and time is not far when our players would be in the PSA top 50 players list,” Nasir concluded.