Ghosal brings down Mueller in a thriller for title

The 31-year-old top seed, won five points in a row to be on match ball at 10-8, but Mueller won two points to keep the spectators on the edge of their seats.

Saurav Ghosal demonstrated a lot of courage and skill to outwit Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller 11-9, 5-11,6-11,11-7, 12-10.   -  RITU RAJ KONWAR

Trailing 5-8 in the fifth and final game, Saurav Ghosal demonstrated a lot of courage and skill to outwit Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller 11-9, 5-11,6-11,11-7, 12-10 to win the final of the Vedanta Indian Open Squash 2018 at the National Sports Club of India (NSCI) on Sunday. 

The 31-year-old top seed, won five points in a row to be on match ball at 10-8, but Mueller won two points to keep the spectators on the edge of their seats.

Eventually Ghosal won the last two points to emerge the winner after a 67 minute absorbing skirmish.

Two years ago, Mueller had recovered from a two game deficit to down Ghosal in a Challenger quarterfinal at the Cricket Club of India.

Currently ranked 24 in the PSA list, Mueller had recently scored the biggest win of his career against Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad in the J P Morgan Tournament of Champions at the Grand Central Terminal, New York. Ghosal had lost to Gawad in the third round of the World Championship in England.

"I have been watching him the whole week. He was in super form, unbelievable. Even if I was off my game plan for five minutes, he was taking advantage and did the right things. He countered the tough balls so well. I won’t say I played badly to be 1-2 down.

"He played the crucial points better. Then I tried to be more precise than what I was trying to do. I don’t think I made errors in the fifth, he just hit the winners. After 5-8, I had a very good patch. I got the length and width the way I wanted it.

"Thankfully for me it had happened at that time. I did something special, but to win 12-10 was like anyone’s match. But we entertained the crowd,’’ said Ghosal after his win.

Result: Saurav Ghosal bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-2: 11-9, 5-11,6-11,11-7, 12-10.