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Saurav Ghosal was India's best bet to bring home a maiden singles medal in squash this year. However, Ghosal, who moved to a career-best ranking of being number 13 in the world and was seeded 3 for the Commonwealth Games 2018, suffered an early singles exit at the hands of the Jamaican Christopher Binnie, squandering a two-game lead. The defeat left him deeply disappointed and Ghosal put out a tweet to apologize for his failure to fulfill the expectations of the people. [embed]https://twitter.com/SauravGhosal/status/981839532168327170[/embed] Ghosal would have hoped to make amends after having lost the bronze medal match in Glasgow four years earlier. But for a man who has been the proud flag-bearer of squash since 2003, so much so that he has become synonymous with the sport across the country, he hardly needs to be sorry. On the contrary, the nation is in debt to Ghosal for breaking barriers and overcoming obstacles to almost single-handedly shoulder the responsibility of popularising squash in India. ALSO READ: Saurav Ghosal: I would love to win a few Gold medals at the CWG On Saturday, Ghosal, who already boasts of quite a few firsts in the history of Indian squash, could become the first Indian male squash player to win a medal when he and Dipika Pallikal take part in the mixed doubles final. The fifth seeded Indian pair had made it to the final after defeating Joelle King and Paul Coll 2-1 in the semi-final. Ghosal, who is a record 12-time national champion, had made his CWG debut in 2010, a tournament in which he lost in singles to eventual bronze medallist Peter Barker in the third round and made it to the quarterfinal with JoshnaChinappa. Coming back from a career-threatening ankle injury in 2016, Ghosal had started this year by winning the Indian Open and the CCI International PSA Tour titles. Before leaving for Gold Coast, Ghosal ' who had won an Asian Games medal every year since 2006 ' had told The Bridge, 'I would love to win a few Gold medals at the Commonwealth as well as Asian Games this year. Winning medals for India is the biggest honour and doing it at these events will make it all the more special. Of course, entering the top 10 of the PSA rankings would be another target.' Though he fell short of winning a medal in the singles, Ghosal might still make history should he win his first CWG gold on Saturday.
The legend of Pallikal-ChinappaPallikal and Chinappa are the defending champions, having won gold in the women's doubles event in 2014. Ghosal, Pallikal and Chinappa have dominated Indian squash for more than a decade now, with their contributions being the main reason why squash still has a passionate following in the country. And today might be the day when their hard work is generously rewarded and they bring more glory for the nation. Pallikal and Chinappa's win today will took them one step closer to defending their title on a day when Ghosal became the first India male squash player to win a CWG medal. It will then always be talked of as a day to remember in the history of Indian sports. ALSO READ: Cyrus Poncha: The architect of India's squash empire