New Delhi: Newly-crowned national champion Saurav Ghosal eased past higher-ranked Julian Illingworth of USA in straight games to enter the pre-quarterfinals of the Punj Lloyd PSA Masters squash tournament on Tuesday.
Ghosal survived some early challenge from Iliingworth in the first game before getting the better of the only American in the draw 12-10 11-4 11-2 in 42 minutes at Siri Fort Sports Complex.
Unseeded Ghosal, ranked 26th in the world, will next meet fifth seed Peter Barker of England in the pre-quarters on Thursday in the USD 1,65,000 final PSA World series event of the year.
Barker, world ranked seventh, made short work of Finland`s Olli Tuominen 11-5 11-4 11-1 in 25 minutes in the other first round match of the day.
Against Illingworth, world ranked 28th, Ghosal was stretched to the maximum in the first game, lasting around 17 minutes.
It was a close first game with fortunes fluctuating from one end to the other but the Indian managed to keep his calm and waited for his opponent to make mistakes and Iliingworth committed those towards the end moments.
Ghosal, the lone surviving Indian in the event, raised his game to a different level all together in the second game and raced to 6-2 before taking a 10-4 lead and make the scoreline read 2-0 in his favour.
Ghosal gave his fancied opponent, whom he lost 1-3 in the World Team Championship in August in Germany, a torrid time in the third game as he showed great athleticism and used his famed footwork to perfection to leave Illingworth both mentally and physically drained.