British Open: Saurav Ghosal stuns Castagnet in opening round

The Indian number one beat Mathieu Castagnet, ranked 10th in the world, 11-6, 8-11, 12-10, 11-6 in just over an hour.

Saurav Ghosal has reached the second round of the British Open for the first time since 2013.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Saurav Ghosal stunned in-form Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet in the first round of the British Open, considered the 'Wimbledon of Squash', to produce the biggest upset of the men's draw so far.

The Indian number one beat Castagnet, ranked 10th in the world, 11-6, 8-11, 12-10, 11-6 in just over an hour.

Castagnet, who was suffering with illness last night, struggled to cope with Ghosal’s pace and attrition – particularly in the final game as Ghosal was winning the big rallies with some great drop shots.

For long periods of the match it was very finely poised and the pair were level after two games before the third game saw the pendulum swing both ways throughout. Castagnet found himself 6-2 and in the driving seat until Ghosal really began to impress. The world number 19 began to control the match at the front and was winning a lot of points from that position on his backhand.

He took that momentum into the fourth game as the Frenchman looked to be running out of steam, which was understandable given the circumstances.

“Mathieu has been playing extremely well, his results over the last couple of months have been great,” said Ghosal. “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.”

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