Saurav qualifies British Super Series quarter-finals

first_imgSaurav Ghosal is on a high. The country’s leading squash player is going through the best phase of his international career. The 24-year-old reached the quarter-finals of the British Super Series this month, in the process becoming the first Indian to do. Not only that, he stretched reigning world champion Amr Shabana to five games in the Hong Kong Open in July.Saurav Ghosal is going through best phase of his career.Speaking to Mail Today, after his first practice session at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in the Capital, Ghoshal said he was happy with the conditions.”It is the first time that I have stepped on to these courts. It was a very good feeling. In terms of lighting and other factors, these courts are comparable to the best in the world. The ASB courts, which are used on the Professional Squash Association ( PSA) circuit are also being used in this competition,” he said.At the same time, Saurav cautioned that there were minor things that needed to be done.”Well they are some minor glitches which can be sorted out. These glitches occur in most tournaments so it is nothing surprising,” he said.About the level of competition at the Games, Saurav said it was going to be a tough one. “We have the likes of Nick Mathews ( world No. 3), James Willtstrop (No. 6) and Peter Barker (No. 7). It is going to be a very formidable one,” he said.Speaking about his performance this year, Saurav, who’s ranked 26th – his best ever so far – said that his good showing was due to his self- belief and conviction.advertisement”When you have the belief that you can beat the top players then it becomes that much easier for you to win against the leading players,” he said.He came up with a couple of sterling performances this year. In May, he stretched former world champion and current world No. 3 Amr Shabana to five games at the Hong Kong Open. “That was one of the best matches I have played this year. Initially, I had some blues playing against Amr. He is my idol and here I was up against him,” he conceded.But once he got over the blues, Saurav matched the Egyptian shot for shot. ” In the end, what separated him from me was just a couple of crucial points which he won,” he said.Thereafter, Saurav came up with his terrific performance at the British Super Series event – one of the top ranked events on the PSA circuit in September. The Indian made it to the quarterfinals where he lost to Englishman James Willstrop.”I was extremely satisfied with my performance at this event in Manchester. It was the first time I made such a progress in a tournament of such a magnitude,” he said.Saurav feels his decision to base abroad – in Leeds, England – has got him the desired results.”Initially, I had some hesitation.But then five years down the line, I am convinced that I made the right decision. The competition in England is very tough. In fact, I am practicing with Willstrop almost on a daily basis,” he said.SAVOURS ASIAD BRONZESaurav has very vivid memories of the bronze medal won at the Asian Games in 2006. ” I have very fond memories of Doha. The most unfortunate part was that my opponent in the quarter- finals happened to be my good friend Ritwik ( Bhattacharya). It ( the bronze) was my first major medal at the international level and I will treasure it for the rest of my career,” he said.Meanwhile, national coach Cyrus Poncha was satisfied with the way his wards shaped up during the two practice sessions.”They arrived from Chennai only on Saturday afternoon and got a feel of the courts today. I am happy with the way they were hitting the ball,” he said.last_img

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