Andrew Dent reports
Austrian number one Aqeel Rehman snared his first ever win on the PSA tour when he beat Argentina’s Gonzalo Miranda in the final of the Tasmanian Open in Hobart on Sunday.
The 26-year-old Rehman made his long-awaited breakthrough when he eased past Miranda in four games 11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 11-4.
It was the culmination of a long few days for the Austrian, who was pushed hard throughout the tournament.
“Every match I played went to at least four games and in the semi-finals (against Elvinn Keo) I was down 8-3 in the fifth, so I nearly didn’t even make the final,” he said.
“I can’t believe it – I’ve been on the tour for so many years I didn’t think it was going to happen.”
Rehman moved to England earlier this year to train with renowned British coach David Pearson and he said the move was now paying off.
“All the work I’ve been doing over the last two months is now catching up with me – I’m playing really well and am feeling confident,” he said.
Earlier, New Zealand’s Megan Craig delivered on a month of good results when she claimed the women’s crown, her second title on the WSA tour.
Craig dominated Wales’s Deon Saffery to win 11-3, 11-9, 11-3, adding the Hobart title to the Caboolture Open she won in Queensland last November..
The 19-year-old Kiwi reached the semi-finals of the South Australian Open and the quarters in Melbourne last week, losing to the eventual champion both times, Song Sun-Mi in Melbourne and fellow New Zealander Amanda Landers-Murphy in Adelaide.
She also lost to Landers-Murphy in the quarter-finals of the Barossa Open in early June.
“I’ve had a pretty good few months but have had a bit of bad luck with the draws — and I kept choking when I had to play Amanda,” she laughed.
“Today I felt good from the start and I did what I had to do.
“I didn’t get much sleep last night because I was so nervous,” she added.
“I went and watched Deon play yesterday and she played really well. I’ve never beaten the girl she beat yesterday (Hong Kong’s Liu Tsz-Ling) and she won quite that quite comfortably.
“I had to block out her good shots and stick to my game plan. I always have a game plan but normally I don’t stick to it – today I did.”
 Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bt  Gonzalo Miranda (ARG) 11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 11-4 (49 mins)
 Gonzalo Miranda (ARG) bt James Earles (ENG) 11-5, 12-10, 13-11. 41mins
 Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bt  Elvinn Keo (MAS) 7-11, 11-8, 12-10, 9-11, 12-10. 60mins
[6 ] Megan Craig (NZL) bt  Deon Saffrey (WAL) 11-3, 11-9, 11-3. 27min