Pakistani Farhan Mehboob brought the 2013 PSA World Tour programme to an historic close in the final of the CNS International in Karachi when he became the first player of the year to win a title after beating the event’s top three seeds.
The unseeded 25-year-old from Peshawar made his breakthrough in the opening round of the PSA International 15 event at the Roshan Khan Jahangir Khan Squash Complex when he toppled third seed Danish Atlas Khan.
Mehboob, the World No.147 competing in only his fifth Tour event of the year, then removed second-seeded compatriot Farhan Zaman in a hard-fought 61-minute semi-final.
Now in the 10th Tour final of his career – and his first for more than a year – the former World No.16 faced top seed Nasir Iqbal, the 19-year-old from Bannu who has been the country’s highest-ranked player since May.
The stylish left-hander wasted no time in laying claim to the title of Pakistan’s best player when he despatched Iqbal, ranked 54 in the world, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 in 51 minutes to successfully defend the title he last won in 2008.
“It was a big moment in my career, as critics had long written me down and out and said my days are over, but now I proved all my critics wrong by defeating the top seed Nasir and that too without any major difficulty,” Mehboob told The Nation later.
“I must thank head coach Jamshed Gul for spending a lot of time with me in the training as it was his hard work which paid off. Another motivation behind me was my father Mehboob Khan who also spent day and night with me in the courts to polish my game and skills.
“I am happy that the performance in this event is one of the best in my entire career and I have not trained much before the event. I have to play the likes of Danish, Farhan Zaman and now Nasir Iqbal, but I managed to show outstanding skills against the three tough opponents and won the title.”
The Karachi triumph marks the fifth PSA Tour title of Mehboob’s career.
Farhan Mehboob (PAK) bt  Nasir Iqbal (PAK) 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (51m)
1 Nasir Iqbal (PAK) bt  Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4 (56m)
Farhan Mehboob (PAK) bt  Farhan Zaman (PAK) 11-8, 11-8, 4-11, 6-11, 11-6 (61m)