Ghosal, Sandhu in quarterfinals

Saurav Ghosal had it easy in the first round.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Top seed Saurav Ghosal  had an easy passage against qualifier from Egypt Karim El Hammamy in a first-round match of the $35,000 Vedanta Indian Squash Open 2018 at the National Sports Club of India (NSCI) in Thursday.

The 31-year-old Ghosal who  climbed to a career-best No. 14 in the PSA ranking list last week took 44 minutes to beat Hammamy 11-3, 11-4, 11-6. "Karim (winner of the World Junior championship in 2013) gave a tough fight playing  some great volleys from the beginning. I ensured I keep it tight from the start of the game. Each game is a learning and I am sure I will get better with each one,’’ said Ghosal.

A seasoned professional now, Ghosal will run into another Egyptian, Karim Ali Fathi in the quarterfinals. Fathi accounted for Eain Yow Ng in a 42-minute first-round match.

India’s unseeded Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu knocked out the No. 8 seed, England’s Nathan Lake in a four-game first round match that lasted 51 minutes.  "It was indeed a tough match. Nathan was hitting good lengths from all over the court. I did  not to give him anything lose in the front and centre as he was hitting the loose balls very well,’’ said Sandhu.

The No. 3 seed from Scotland, Greg Lobban, ran into a tricky customer in Malaysian Addeen Idrakie, but the 25-year-old Edinburgh resident came through unscathed after a 37-minute tussle.

Results (round 1):  (1) Saurav Ghosal  bt  Karim El Hammamy (Egypt) 11-3, 11-4,11-6;  (5) Karim Ali Fathi (Egypt) bt Eain Yow Ng (Malaysia) 11-5, 13-11, 11-9; Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu bt (8) Nathan Lake (England) 11-7, 12-10, 5-11, 11-8; (3) Greg Lobban (Scotland) bt Addeen Idrakie (Malaysia) 13-11, 11-6, 11-9. [2] Nicolas Mueller (Switzerland) bt [Q] Ammar Altamimi (Kuwait) 11-9, 7-11, 11-4, 11-7.

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