Aqeel Rehman Wins PSA Challenger 5 Austrian Open

PSA Challenger 5 Austrian Open, Salzburg, Austria
Final:
Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bt [1] Chris Ryder (ENG) 11-6, 4-11, 11-9, 11-5
 
Austrian Open tournament organiser and publicist Aqeel Rehman added the extra title 'tournament champion' to his credits when he upset top-seeded Englishman Chris Ryder in the final of the PSA World Tour Challenger 5 squash event at the Squash & Tennis Centre Gneis in Salzburg.
 
In his seventh successive appearance in the event at his home club, Rehman becomes the first ever home winner of the prestigious title which has PSA links back to the 1980s.
 
The Salzburg-born 27-year-old joins a distinguished championship 'Roll of Honour' which includes such eminent names as Peter Nicol (1998), Jansher Khan (1990, 1994 and 1997) and Chris Dittmar (1989).
 
Unseeded Rehman had a great run in the tournament, despatching South Africa's second seed Clinton Leeuw in the quarter-finals, and then beating Frenchman Lucas Serme in the semis to reach the tournament final for the first time.
 
But his opponent Chris Ryder seemed to be in good shape himself, after only dropping a single game on his way to the final.
 
But the Austrian underdog was boosted by a big crowd and was able to push himself for another great performance. Rehman had the better start and took the first game 11-6. Ryder, the world No71 from Leamington Spa, responded to the challenge and drew level.
 
The third game was the turning point of the match. After trading points till six-all, Ryder raced to a 9-6 lead. But again the partisan crowd played its part, and enabled Rehman to reclaim the advantage and retake the lead.
 
The fourth game was all Aqeel - and after racing to an 8-3 lead, it looked as if there could be only one winner. The Salzburg ace held his nerve to close out the match 11-6, 4-11, 11-9, 11-5 and claim his
historic win.
 
"It's amazing to win this tournament," said Rehman later. "It has been the ninth year in a row that we staged this tournament in my home club and four times I made it to the semis. So after I finally got through to the final it's even more unreal to win it straight away against such a strong opponent, and not even being seeded at all!
 
"The crowd has been so great and really supporting and I am so proud to reach this and show them good squash. I am so happy to share this success with everyone here around me, but also my coach
David Pearson back in England and my training partner Ong Beng Hee.
 
"It feels a bit strange being the organiser, host, player, all together," added the Austrian. "But I don't think anyone made me presents here!"
 
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Semi-finals:
[1] Chris Ryder (ENG) bt [Q] Joel Hinds (ENG) 11-8, 11-4, 11-4 (50m)
Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 12-14, 13-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-4 (80m)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Chris Ryder (ENG) bt Arthur Gaskin (IRL) 11-6, 11-5, 10-12, 11-2 (73m)
[Q] Joel Hinds (ENG) bt [Q] Benjamin Fischer (SUI) 11-5, 11-4, 11-7
Lucas Serme (FRA) bt [4] Ben Coleman (ENG) 9-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-5 (90m)
Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bt [2] Clinton Leeuw (RSA) 11-2, 11-8, 2-11, 12-10

1st round:
[1] Chris Ryder (ENG) bt Reiko Peter (SUI) 11-6, 11-9, 11-0 (39m)
Arthur Gaskin (IRL) bt Jakob Dirnberger (AUT) 9-11, 11-1, 11-6, 11-4
[Q] Joel Hinds (ENG) bt Declan James (ENG) 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (42m)
[Q] Benjamin Fischer (SUI) bt [3] Kashif Shuja (NZL) 12-10, 9-11, 11-13, 11-6, 11-9
[4] Ben Coleman (ENG) bt Alejandro Garbi Caro (ESP) 11-2, 11-9, 10-12, 11-6
Lucas Serme (FRA) bt [Q] Tim Weber (GER) 9-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5
Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bt [Q] Martin Mosnik (SLO) 9-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-7 (49m)
[2] Clinton Leeuw (RSA) bt Johan Bouquet (FRA) 11-7, 11-9, 11-7

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