New Delhi: Sixth seeds India sent
giant-killers Denmark crashing out of the World Team Squash
Championship to set up an intriguing quarterfinal clash with
fourth-seeded Australia at Padewrborn, Germany.
It is only the second time in the past three decades that
India has reached this stage. The last time was in 2005 when
the event was played at the Indian Squash Academy in Chennai.
In the first singles played last night, Harinder Pal
Sandhu came up with a clinical performance against Morten
Sorensen to win 11-6, 11-1, 11-8 in 29 minutes.
Sandhu dominated the match from start to finish, moving
his opponent at will.
Sorensen looked to be in some discomfort after his
marathon match on Tuesday when his team sent tournament
favourites Pakistan out of the top-16 for the first time in
Sandhu maintained the pressure to win convincingly,
dropping only 15 points.
"I`m a lot happier today than yesterday, which was really
a tough game, because I made far too many errors. So today, I
decided that I would avoid any loose shots, and was able to
cut down on errors, until the very end," said Sandhu after the
"I started well against Sandhu, but after a few rallies I
couldn`t push on my right leg, and he was far too good and
accurate for me today," said Danish Sorensen.
Country`s top ranked singles player Saurav Ghosal then
confirmed sixth seeded India`s place in the quarter-finals
when he won a hard-fought match against Kristian Frost Olesen
11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9 in 66 minutes.
Having won the first two games comfortably, Ghosal let
his guard down and Kristian came back to win the third and
pushed the Indian until the end of the fourth. At 9-9, Ghosal
played two controlled rallies to confirm victory.
"On paper, we were the favourite, but there is a
difference between paper and reality, and I still had to get
the job done against Kristian. I wanted to be clinical and
simple, but he wouldn`t let me.”
"He played very well, got some beautiful shots in, and
quite rightly, took the 3rd, which made things more
complicated. And even in the 4th, we were close 7-7," said
"I`m very happy to get away in 4, we`ve equalised our
best ever result, and hopefully, we can get a bit deeper in
the tournament," added the Indian.
With India taking an unassailable 2-0 lead, the third
singles between Siddharth Suchde and Ramus Nielsen was not
played. Fourth seed Australia won 2-1 against the Netherlands
to book their place in the last-eight stage.
The 23rd staging of the World Squash Federation event --
the first senior world championship since the IOC announcement
that Squash is on the shortlist for Olympic inclusion in 2020
-- is taking place in Germany for the first time.
The quarter-final line-up: (1) England vs (9) Italy; (4)
Australia vs (6) India; (3) France vs (5) Malaysia; (2) Egypt
vs (8) USA.