3 Indians including Saurav Ghosal in Men’s Singles, Joshna Chinappa & Dipika Pallikal in Women’s singles have storms into the semi-finals of Asian Squash Championship.
In the first quaterfinal, it was all All-Indian affair as 2nd seed Saurav Ghosal was up against 10th seed Vikram Malhotra, Saurav eased pass Vikram’s challenge to make his first-ever Asian semifinal by defeating him in three straight sets, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7.
The scoreline may suggest a routine victory for the 11-time-national champion, but it was not so easy as Vikram do gave a good fight & had his moments of brilliance in the match.
Vikram had a sloppy start as he was finding it difficult to get Saurav’s backhand corner shots back into play and was down 1-8 in the first game. The second game was much more even as both players had to fight hard to get the points, Vikram lost a lot of points while attempting soft drops, with the ball touching below the lowest red-line more often. Third set had the same story as the 11-time National Champion took away the set and game in convincing style.
“I think I was focussed and played intelligently. I hit the target area and it was a good match for me. He played well in patches,” Ghosal said after the win.
In the other quaterfinal of Men’s singles, another Indian in frame 15th seed Harinder Pal Singh lost his match from No.1 seed in thr tournament Hong Kong’s Max Lee in straight sets 11-9, 11-8, 11-8.
With the defeat of Harinder Pal, Saurav Ghosal remains the only hope for India in Men’s Singles category.
In the women’s quaters, 2nd seed Joshna Chinappa was up against 7th seed Misaki of Japan, Joshna with all her experience outplayed the Misaki’s challenge to take the game by 11-7, 11-3, 9-11, 12-10.
The first two sets saw Indian cruising towards victory with ease but in the third set Kasaki bounced back to take the set by 9-11, in the 4th set she was leading at a stage by 5-1 but Joshna pulled the things back to take the set & match by 12-10.
“I took a few points for granted. She played well. I thought I was pretty lucky to win the fourth game,” Joshna said after the match.
4th seed Dipika Pallikal didn’t had to sweat hard for her victory as she dominated Hong kong’s Liu Tsz by 11-3, 11-6, 11-6 to book a berth in semis. All three sets saw Indian dominating the most of the match as Dipika was in full control & didn’t gave a chance to her opponent to bounce back in the game.
Saurav will next play fifth seed Leo Au in Men’s Singles semis while Joshna will takes on 6th seed Tong Tsz & Dipika will be up against No.1 seed Annie Au in Women’s singles semis respectively.
India has never won an “Asian title” in 36 years of history, it would be interesting to see if this time Indian players can break the jinx or not !!
Asian Squash Championship Quater-Finals Results
|Men’s Singles||Saurav Ghosal  (India)
Vikram Malhotra  (India)
|11-7, 11-7, 11-7||Saurav Ghosal  (India)|
|Women’s Singles||Joshana Chinappa  (India)
Misaki Kobayashi  (Japan)
|11-7, 11-3, 9-11, 12-10||Joshana Chinappa  (India)|
|Men’s Singles||Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu 
Max Lee  (Hong Kong)
|11-8, 11-9, 11-8||Max Lee 
|Women’s Singles||Dipika Pallikal Karthik  (India)
Liu Tsz Ling 
|11-3, 11-6, 11-6||Dipika Pallikal Karthik  (India)|