Abu Dhabi: For 11 years, Adil Maqbool started the season as UAE’s number one ranked player. But before going into Saturday’s Abu Dhabi Squash Super Division final against Amir Khan, Maqbool was a wee bit worried.
But once on court, the 25-year-old, who is returning after a study break, proved too good for his 22-year-old rival and UAE number two Amir Khan to notch up his ninth success in the capital’s longest running squash event.
With his family, including his eight-month-old son Amaar, watching, Maqbool disposed off Khan in a one-sided final, 11-3, 11-3, 11-5 to stay put as UAE number one.
“Though I have never lost to him, I was a bit wary as I am just getting back my fitness. I was ranked around 200 but with my father putting me through a strenuous fitness regime, I lost about 12 kgs and am getting back to shape,” Maqbool said.
“I have completed my studies, quit my regular job and joined my father’s business. All this so that I can devote more time and am aiming to get back to below 100 in the ranking,” said Maqbool, whose best ranking was 77.
“I am happy with my display today and glad that I will be starting as UAE number one for the 12th year.
Khan, who has also won the Abu Dhabi Squash Open once, said he lost to a better opponent. “We will be meeting again in Dubai soon so I will just keep trying to beat him,” Khan said.
In the Division One final, Ahmad Fathi got the better of Zein Onnaba in a five game affair while Mike Dravitzki beat Steven Graham 15-7, 15-11, 15-1 in the veterans final.