R1: Shahjahan Khan 3-1 Vikram Malhotra

Squash is not just about winning but also about caring, loving and displaying true sportsmanship. That is what USA’s Shahjahan Khan embodies as he paid his condolences to his opponent, Vikram Malhotra, on the death of his mother who died two months ago in his post-match interview on Sunday.

“Before I go, I would like to extend my condolences to my friend Vikram who lost his mother about two months ago. Stay strong buddy. I wish you all the best,” the 62-ranked Khan said to resounding applause.

Earlier, the 62-ranked Pakistan-born American player had produced a 34 minutes 3-1 (11-9, 3-11, 11-4, 11-3) triumph against his Indian opponent who had a 4-0 head-to-head advantage over him before now.

“All thanks to my opponent, Vikram, because he played well, especially in the second and third game. In the first game, I was a little bit relaxed chasing the ball down and waiting for my opponent to make an error. I think today was for me a bit more about being patient, and I took my chances quite well. This is my first time playing at this tournament, and I think it was exciting for both of us,” the 25-year-old Boston-resident said after his victory.

As for his next opponent Miguel Rodriguez, the World No. 9, Khan said, “I think it would be a good match. The last time I played him, in Guatemala I think I played quite well, though I lost in four. This time around, I hope to do better. Miguel is a top-quality player, and I hope to enjoy my game with him the day after tomorrow.”

The duo is set to meet in the second round on Tuesday.