Grant Rises To The Indian Challenge
22 Mar 2009
It was a dramatic climax to the $30,000 3-star PSA Tour event at The Calcutta Racket Club which was supported by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
Both players had reached the final unexpectedly - third seed Grant overcoming second-seeded Malaysian Mohd Azlan Iskandar in the semi-finals and Hisham Mohd Ashour, the No4 seed, upsetting favourite Ong Beng Hee, also from Malaysia.
But left-hander Grant, the world No13 from London, was too strong for his opponent in the final - beating world No29 Ashour 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 in 40 minutes.
Ashour, suffering with leg injury, led in all three games - but Grant was in no mood allow his opponent's ailment to affect his bid for victory.
"I could make out that he was not fully fit, so I just kept returning while he made the mistakes," said the 29-year-old England international afterwards.
"The win is quite reassuring, especially after having lost three finals so closely in the season," added Grant - runner-up this year not only in the British National Championships last month, but also in Tour events in Detroit and Kuala Lumpur.
The triumph takes Grant's career title tally to 16 - now making the Londoner the current Englishman with the most Tour titles, and second only in all-time to Peter Nicol, the former world number one from England who retired after collecting a total of 49 PSA Tour titles.