Indian squash ace Saurav Ghosal entered the second round of Allam British Open on Tuesday after registering an upset victory over World No. 10 Mathieu Castagnet at the Airco Arena in Hull. However, Joshna Chinappa crashed out in the first round of the women’s event after losing to Donna Urquhart.
Ghosal, who returned to the tour after an injury-filled 2016, dominated the Frenchman with his pace to win the match 3-1 (11-6, 8-11, 12-10, 11-6). The Indian was accurate with his shots and quickly grabbed the impetus in the match against the eighth seed, who was struggling with an illness. Ghosal pocketed the first game 11-6 easing past the French national champion.
The World No.10 showed his prowess in the next game and soon levelled the match at one game apiece after winning the second game 11-8, thanks to a series of winners. But the match turned on its head in the third game. Castagnet took a 6-2 lead and looked the favourite to win the game, but the World No.19 made a stunning comeback from there on and took the third game 12-10 in a tight contest.
With a series of points coming from his backhand and long rallies, Ghosal controlled the match in the fourth game as the Frenchman was struggling for fitness. He finally surrendered the game 6-11 to the Indian to pave the way for Ghosal’s first 2nd round appearance at the British Open since 2013.
“Mathieu has been playing extremely well, his results over the last couple of months have been great.He won at canary wharf which was a massive win. I knew I had to be ready for an absolute battle. I was expecting long lung-busting rallies. He digs in really well and he’s taken that to a new level recently.
“I thought I played an almost perfect first game, only make one or two errors. Even when I was 6-2 down in the third game I didn’t think I was playing bad, he played some really good points but I managed to get back to the length and width in which I started the match,” Ghosal told psaworldtour.com after the match.
In the women’s event, India’s highest ranked player Joshna Chinappa crashed out in the opening round after losing to unseeded Donna Urquhart of Australia 1-3 (10-12, 11-7, 9-11, 5-11).