Ghosal aims to topple world’s top squash players

March 7th, 2009 - 1:12 pm ICT by IANS  

By Sirshendu Panth
Kolkata, March 7 (IANS) Having reached a career-high international ranking, Indian squash player Saurav Ghosal is now eyeing victories against some of the world’s top 10 stars in 2009.

The 23-year-old Leeds-based Ghosal has shot up to the 34th slot in the Professional Squash Association (PSA) rankings in March and hopes to continue his upward climb in the coming months.

“I have reached a career high world ranking of 34 this month. So, I have to do better than last year and continue my rise in the rankings,” the Kolkata-born Ghosal told IANS.

Ghosal, who won the Chennai Open and the Ornano International Open last year, plans to play all the big tournaments in 2009 and compete against the world’s best.

“I would like to beat some of the top 10 guys and keep improving. I’m sure if I can do that, my ranking will take care of itself!” he said.

Asked about his showing last year, Ghosal said he was “pretty satisfied” with the second half.

“The first part of the year was average during which I kept my ranking but did not really beat any higher ranked players. I was playing well in practice but couldn’t really convert that form into the matches,” said the national champion.

“This changed to a certain degree in the second part of the year from July. This reflected in my improved performances. Thus, I would say I was pretty satisfied with the second part but not so much with the first half,” he said.

Ghosal termed as his toughest moment of 2008 the wafer-thin loss in the final of the 1.5 Star PSA event in Chennai. “I lost 12-10 in the 5th and it is one of the matches I would like to forget very soon.”

Ghosal is now geared up to take part in the Indian Challenger in Kolkata from March 16-21, followed by the NSC Series in Kuala Lumpur from Mar 25-28.

“After that, I am going to take a small break from tournaments so that I can get in a good month or so of training,” he said.

“Later in the year, I will play the Senior Nationals which are due to be held in Delhi in August. I do not have any firm plans of playing any other events as of now, but I will see if I can fit in a few others during the season.”

On whether he was fully fit, Ghosal said: “Every sportsman has a few niggles during the season and I am no exception.

“We just learn to play through them and try to perform at our best always. I’m glad to say that I do not have any major injuries and I hope I can keep it that way!” he said.

Ghosal, who had complained several times in the past that the Indian media was loathe to giving due importance to squash and other non-cricket sports, said the fourth estate nowadays gave better exposure to these disciplines.

“But that is only because a few non-cricket sports have been doing really well over the past few years. The point I try to make regarding the media is that it is much easier for cricket to have a whole page dedicated to itself everyday.

“On the other hand, squash players have to win a major tournament to get a proper

mention in the papers,” he said.

Averring that was not fair, Ghosal said: “Squash players are one of the best athletes the world of sport has to offer. We play a match everyday and yet you do not hear any squash player complaining about tough schedules and the like. I just feel squash deserves more”.

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