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World Championship: World No. 1 knocks out Saurav Ghosal in thriller

Other Indians in Mahesh Mangaonkar, Ramit Tandon, qualifier Abhay Singh, and Joshna Chinappa lost their first-round matches.

World Championship: World No. 1 knocks out Saurav Ghosal in thriller

Could Saurav Ghosal win India's first individual squash gold in the CWG this time? (SAI)



Published: 8 May 2023 1:24 PM GMT

India’s finest male squash player Saurav Ghosal lost a gruelling five-match battle against world number one Diego Ellias in the pre-quarterfinals of the World Championship here.

Ghosal, who last reached the quarterfinals of the premier event four years ago, even had a couple of match balls before going down 11-9 11-4 6-11 3-11 10-12 in a marathon contest on Sunday night.

Ghosal squandered a 2-0 advantage to concede the next two games to take the match into the decider. The 36-year-old could not convert the crucial points and it was anyone’s match at 10-10 in the fifth game.

However, the Indian made an unforced error to make it 10-11 before the Peruvian player closed out the match.

Elias, 10 years younger than Ghosal, lauded the Indian veteran after an energy-sapping contest. Ghosal played his first world championship way back in 2005 and has been the torchbearer of Indian squash for the last two decades.

“Saurav was playing great squash from the beginning. He had a good game plan against me, and I couldn’t figure it out at the start. It took me a couple of games, and I’m just very happy I could come back from that because I was under a lot of pressure, and I didn’t start in the best way.

“I wasn’t moving great. I think I can improve a lot of things for the next match and just be way more aggressive. Hopefully, I’ll be moving better in the next one,” said Ellias.

Both Ghosal and Ellias have had intense battles over the years. The 16th-ranked Indian had stretched Ellias to five games, even at the Tournament of Champions in New York last year.

Ghosal’s last win against the Peruvian star came way back in 2016.

Mahesh Mangaonkar, Ramit Tandon and qualifier Abhay Singh lost their first-round matches.

The only Indian women in the singles draw, Joshna Chinappa, had suffered an opening-round loss to USA’s Olivia Clyne.

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