ISLAMABAD - Danish Atlas Khan brushed aside top seed Egyptian Andrew Wagih 3-1 in 1 hour and 10 minutes to set up final clash with countryman Farhan Zaman in the $10,000 Life Time Chicago Open 2015.

It would be after a long time that the both finalists of an international squash event are Pakistanis. Farhan, third seed in the event, had to dig deep to overcome strong challenge pose by young Qatari Abdullah Al Tamimi, pupil of former world champion Australian great Geoff Hunt 3-2 in a marathon semifinal.

While talking exclusively with The Nation from USA former Pakistan number 1 squash player and former world number 14 Shahid Zaman Khan said: “I had time and again offered Pakistan Squash Federation to send players in USA, where I would impart training to them. I had not demanded anything from federation. I just wanted to help out Pakistanis just for the love for the country of my birth. Today whatever I am enjoying is just because of Pakistan, but federation didn't pay any heed to my offer. Farhan arrived in USA and I extended same offer to him. He made the right choice and without wasting any time, he moved to Boston and trained with me prior the start of Chicago Open, which helped him to reach final. I had made it very clear to Farhan, he had to concentrate on training, stop going out and wasting time in night clubs or on mobile phones and only work hard work. It is my challenge, he would break into PSA top 10 within short span of time but key to success is training and focus on the task ahead.”

He praised Farhan who responded well and reached in back-to-back finals as he had already won the $10,000 event in US and is on road for another title. In the first semifinal, Danish, seeded 4th, was up against Andrew Wagih top seed and highly experienced player and nobody was ready to even give Danish outside chance in the semifinal. But Danish had other ideas in store as he wanted to prove a point to all his critics. Danish started first game very positively and took the game 11-7. He was at his peak in the second game kept on Wagih running, who was looking frustrated and hardly been able to find rhythm. Danish took full advantage of Wagih’s mistakes and took second game 11-5. After losing two games in arrow, it was Wagih's reputation on line. He was not ready to concede so early. It was a delight to watch top class squash played between the two highly rated players. The game kept on changing from one way to another. It was marathon game, which Wagih finally manage to win 13-11. After losing third game, Danish was very much aware of the threat and danger Wagih could pose and aware he had to win the 4th game, or else, his dream of playing final would be all but over. Danish entered the court with positive frame of mind. He started to mix his variety of shots and Wagih was finding it very difficult to match Danish's speed and agility. Danish slowly build lead and shut doors on Wagih after winning the 4th game 11-7 to set up final date with old rival Farhan. Danish enjoys a very high success rate against fellow countryman Farhan as he had only lost once against him in last 13 meetings.

In the second semifinal, Farhan was enjoying 2-1 lead against the Qatari before allowing Tamimi to stage comeback in the match. Farhan lost the first game 6-11 but he bounced back in style to win next two games 11-9 and 11-9. He was nowhere in the 4th game as Tamimi was playing flawless squash and took the 4th game 11-4. However, after being outclassed in the 4th game, it was completely different Farhan in the 5th game as he played with lot of authority and took the game 11-8 to win the encounter in more than 70 minutes of highly tense battle.

Farhan thanked Chicago crowd for overwhelming support and said he never felt he was playing in USA, rather he was feeling like playing in Pakistan.