Ghosal in last eight, Ritwik bows out

March 18th, 2009 - 11:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, March 18 (IANS) India’s top ranked player Saurav Ghosal overcame a mid-match challenge to move into the quarter finals with a straight win over compatriot Naresh Kumar in the $30,000 PSA Indian Challenger squash meet which began here Wednesday.
World number 34 and defending national champion Ghosal took 33 minutes to get past the wild card entrant 11-8, 13-11, 11-0 at the Calcutta Racket Club.

Seasoned Indian campaigner Ritwik Bhattacharya, however, failed to cash in on a good start, as he went down 11-7, 4-11, 4-11, 5-11 to fifth seeded Egyptian Mohammad Abbas after a 44-minute contest.

Sixth seed Ghosal took the first game convincingly, but the youngster upped the ante in the second game and came up with some good shots to be on game point at 10-9. However, Ghosal kept his cool to take the game at 13-11.

Having lost the cliff-hanger, Naresh was nowhere in the third game, as Ghosal stepped up the pace and finished it off without conceding any point.

The Kolkata boy will now be up against top seeded Ong Beng Hee of Malaysia in the last eight battle Thursday. World number 11 Beng came back after the first game loss to oust Frenchman Stephane Galifi 10-12, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5.

Ghosal conceded he needed to improve his game to stand a chance against the Malaysian on the morrow.

“I have to pull up my socks. He is a very good player. I hope I will be able to pull off a win,” said Ghosal, who is playing Beng after a gap of more than two years. Beng won 3-1 in the Asian Games Semi final in 2006.

Ritwik, on the other hand, paid the price for a high voltage attacking squash after pocketing the opening game. The swift Abbas repeatedly wrong-footed Ritwik, who also made a series of unforced errors to bow out of the three-star tournament.

Second seed and world number 12 Mohd. Azlan Iskandar of Malaysia coasted to a straight 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 victory over German Simon Rosner to reach the quarter finals.

Iskandar, who emerged champion in the maiden edition of the meet in 2005, overcame Rosner’s challenge in 44 minutes.

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