Friday September 14, 2012
Gifted Muzayen can be called the ‘Messi of squash’
KUALA LUMPUR: Meet Abdullah Al Muzayen of Kuwait. Accounting graduate and probably one of the most gifted squash players on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tour so far.
It is probably not an overstatement to say that Muzayen is the Lionel Messi of squash.
Small in stature and possessing a bag-full of tricks, the 24-year-old Muzayen has one of the slowest racquet swings, getting his opponent to commit to the shot before changing the ball’s direction at the last minute.
He also has an extensive range of cross court shots, lob and volley, and one his one deadliest weapons is his dropshots – which he executes to perfection even under intense pressure.
Just ask world No. 10 Omar Mosaad.
The hard-hitting Egyptian, who was the third seed at the ongoing CIMB Malaysian Open, had no answer to the world No. 51 Muzayen’s trickery and, after taking a first set lead, eventually succumbed to an 11-6, 4-11, 6-11, 8-11 first round defeat.
Yet fitness appears to be Muzayen’s weakness because after coming through two tough qualifying matches and a monster feat against Mosaad, the soft-spoken Kuwaiti ran out of gas against Swiss player Nicolas Mueller in the quarter-finals.
“I’m happy with how I’ve performed here so far but Nicolas is a very strong player,” said Muzayen after losing 12-10, 5-11, 6-11, 0-11.
“I was quite tired after all the qualifying matches and it was a real tough tournament.
“I had my best career win in the Tour by beating the world No. 10 Omar.
“I did not play much squash over the past few years because I was occupied with my studies ... accounting at the Kuwait University, and couldn’t compete much. “But I love the game, having trained in Egypt since I was seven.
“And now that I’ve finished my studies, I’m looking to focus on squash.
“I had a great tournament here and I’m really looking forward to coming back next month,” added Muzayen, who is set to compete in the Royal Lake Open at the Royal Lake Club from Oct 2-7.
With a bit more time and exposure, Muzayen will surely be a top player.
And, given his immense talent, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he breaks into the top 20 soon.