Mumbai: National champion and tournament third seed Saurav Ghosal stormed into the final of the USD 50,000 CCI International JSW Indian Squash Circuit by outclassing his second-seeded Egyptian rival Omar Mossad 3-1 in the semifinals in Mumbai on Thursday.
Ghosal ranked 21st in the world, dropped the first game against his Egyptian opponent, ranked 20th on the PSA Tour, 5-11 before hitting the high note to take the next three games 11-4, 11-8, 11-7 to advance to Friday’s final.
In the first semi-final, Swiss fifth seed Nicolas Mueller brought the superb run of India’s Ramit Tandon to a halt, by outclassing the 25-year-old wildcard – conqueror top seed Borja Golan of Spain yesterday – in three straight games.
Mueller, ranked 27th in the world, had total control of the proceedings as he carved out an 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 victory over Tandon, currently ranked a lowly 201 after surging to a career-high of 118 three years ago, in 32 minutes to enter the summit clash.
Ghosal took time to hit the groove against his much taller opponent from Egypt, a semifinalist at last month’s US Open. The 31-year-old India number one was beaten fair and square in the first game but then dictated the pace of the game thereon in the match that lasted 64 minutes.
Ghosal took a small lead of 6-4 in the second that he gradually increased by stepping up the pace and sharpening the angles of his shots to prise out errors from his opponent before clinching the last point with a backhand into the nick.
After drawing level at 1-1, Ghosal ran up a lead of 5-3 in the third game too that he gradually increased to 8-3 before Mossad halted the run. The latter closed the gap to 10-8 with some winners and a few errors from the Indian’s racquet before he hit the ‘tin’ to lose the game.
Ghosal and Mossad fought tooth and nail in the fourth. The Indian champion trailed 2-4 before hitting a purple patch to win five points in a row to lead 7-4.
Although the Egyptian, winner of 10 pro titles in his career reduced the gap to 7-9, he conceded a ‘stroke’ to face three game-balls. Another backhand error by Mossad gave the Indian the game and the match as well as a berth in the summit clash.
Results (Semifinals): 5-Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt WC-Ramit Tandon (IND) 11-6, 11-8, 11-7; 3-Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt 2-Omar Mossad (Egypt) 5-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-7