David Palmer: Saurav Ghosal can enter top six

Palmer was supposed to join the Indian senior team for the Asian Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur in March this year before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa, winners of the men's and women's titles respectively in the Senior National Squash Championship in Chennai in February.   -  FILE PHOTO/ M. VEDHAN

 

Former World squash champion David Palmer is now a coach in the US. He has been training the best player, Mohamed El Shorbagy, along with a host of junior squash champions.

Palmer was supposed to join the Indian senior team for the Asian Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur in March this year before the COVID-19 pandemic turned everything upside down.

In a video conference on Saturday, Palmer said he enjoyed working with Indian players. In short stints, the former British Open champion has trained Saurav Ghosal, Joshna Chinappa, Harinder Pal Sandhu, Vikram Malhotra among others.

Palmer was confident that Saurav, now ranked 13 in the world, can break into the top six.

READ| Saurav Ghosal: We need six to eight weeks to return stronger

“They (Indians) bring a lot of energy and joy [to their training]. They have sacrificed a lot to achieve their goals. Harinder was similar to me in some ways and I got him to be more aggressive on-court. I really feel Saurav can enter the top 6, he is closing the gap. He can win major [PSA] titles,” said the 43-year-old Australian, who is based in Ithaca (New York).

Describing India’s top junior Veer Chotrani, who is being trained by Palmer at Cornell University, he said, “Veer is more fitter, stronger and tactically smarter now.”

According to Palmer, in order to be successful, players have to move away from their comfort zones. “With me, I [and my players] have a plan in place, a weekly plan. It is when players go back to their home clubs, they go astray. I moved away from Australia when I was 18 years old as the environment was not conducive. Half of my life I was away from my family because I wanted to become a World champion and World No.1,” he said.

Revealing his secrets on a long and rewarding playing career, Palmer said he could win matches even on a day when he was not at his best. “What made me successful was that I could win even on a bad day. I had a Plan-B in place which helped me and made me progress to the next round. It was my fitness and pure determination that kept me in the tournament,” said Palmer, who has won 27 PSA titles.

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