Squash ace and World No.15 Saurav Ghosal stormed into the quarterfinals at the Kolkata International JSW Indian Squash Circuit beating Nathan Lake of England here on Thursday.
Lake troubled the local talent in the first game. But by the second, the second-seeded Ghosal had his opponent’s measure and put the pressure on with his signature speed.
From there, Ghosal controlled the match, taking it 11-9, 11-3, 11-5 in 47 minutes.
“I’ve not played him ever before. I had a little bit of trouble to see what his game was all about,” Ghosal said.
“He played some really good stuff at the beginning of the match. After the first game, I was more in control. It’s good to win 3-0. Hopefully, I’ll play better tomorrow and as the tournament goes on,” he added.
In another contest, two Indians had a face-off, as Mahesh Mangaonkar, member of the gold-medal winning 2014 Asian Games team, and Harinderpal Singh Sandhu — the 2014 national champion and Asian Games gold medallist — tested each other.
The match was certainly the most dynamic of the night, as well as the longest, unfolding across five games in 75 minutes.
Both players sent the other scrambling across the court on more than one occasion, and showed flashes of brilliant shot-making. But in the end, Mangaonkar stayed a bit steadier, building a solid lead in the fifth that Sandhu just couldn’t chip away.
Mangaonkar won 6-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6 in 75 minutes.
World No.256 and wild card entrant Chris Simpson of England upset world No.22 Ramit Tandon in a close battle.
Tandon was good in flashes. But Simpson’s speed and error-free display carried the day, particularly as Tandon lost steam in the third game.
Simpson won 11-9, 15-13, 11-7 in 61 minutes.
Another Indian, Kush Kumar, had a strong start against Egyptian Zahed Mohamed, racking up a quick 5-1 lead, and then going up to 8-5, thanks to a string of unforced errors by his rival. But the Egyptian quickly changed tactics, taking the first game 11-9, and continued to dominate to win 11-9, 11-8, 11-4 in 38 minutes.
Rex Hedrick (AUS) beat Olli Tuominen (FIN) 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 in 28 min
Greg Lobban (SC) beat Ammar Altamimi (KUW) 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 10-12, 11-5 in 55 min
Zahed Mohamed (EGY) beat Kush Kumar (IND) 11-9, 11-8, 11-4 in 38 min
Chris Simpson (ENG) beat Ramit Tandon (IND) 11-9, 15-13, 11-7 in 61 min
Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) beat Sanjay Singh Chal (MAS) 12-14, 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 in 39 min
Saurav Ghosal (IND) beat Nathan Lake (ENG) 11-9, 11-3, 11-5 in 47 min
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) beat Ivan Yuen (MAS) 11-3, 11-9, 9-4 in 36 min (Yuen retired ill)
Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) beat Harinderpal Singh Sandhu 6-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6 in 75 min