Ghosal takes a realistic view of CWG chances

World no. 14 Saurav Ghosal feels he has been playing good squash in the last six months, giving himself a chance to do well in the Common Wealth Games (CWG) at Gold Coast, Australia from April 4 to 15. 

Ghosal, who has won the national title a record twelve times, is the top seed for the inaugural $ 35,000 Vedanta Indian Squash Open 2018.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

World no. 14 Saurav Ghosal feels he has been playing good squash in the last six months, giving himself a chance to do well in the Common Wealth Games (CWG) at Gold Coast, Australia from April 4 to 15. 

"The CWG and Asian Games are happening this year, but the CWG is in April, so obviously that’s the first thing on my mind.  I will be playing the singles and mixed doubles with Dipika Pallikal. 

"For the last six months and especially from last December, I think I have played pretty well and therefore I think I have given myself a decent shot for the singles.  Having said that there will be a lot of other good players at the Games; there will be a strong contingent.

"England’s Nick Matthew (winner at New Delhi `10 and Glasgow '14) and James Willstrop (runner-up at New Delhi `10 and Glasgow `14) will be there,’’ Ghosal said at the National Sports Club of India here on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old  said more players would compete to be among medals at Gold Coast. "Nick and James will go in as the front-runners. Paul Coll of New Zealand has done really well in the last two years; he could be seeded No. 2 actually.

"Greg Lobban, who is here, is outside of the top eight. It’s a question of playing well in that week. The draw is deep, the field will be strong. You cannot look forward to whom you are going to play in the quarters and semis. You cannot charge your way through the draw.

"Both the CWG and Asian Games are one of a kind events.  I have been part of two CWG before. Both have been unbelievable experiences. This will be the first time I am going to play the CWG in Australia because we did not play in Melbourne in 2006. We will prepare as well as we can in the tournaments leading to the CWG," he said.

Ghosal, who has won the national title a record twelve times, is the top seed for the inaugural $ 35,000 Vedanta Indian Squash Open 2018 to be held at the NSCI squash courts here from Thursday.

Promoted by  5 Sports - founded by former national junior champion Rhea Bhandare  and Jay Jhaveri - the four-day PSA circuit event has some top players in the world - Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller, Scotland’s Lobban and Egypt’s Omar Mosaad, Karim Ali Fathi, Mazen Gamal and Omar Abdel Mequid, England’s Nathan Lake and Chris Simpson, France’s Lucas Serme and Malaysia’s Eain Yow Nq.

India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar and Harinder Pal Singh have been awarded the wild card. Four qualifiers will advance to the main draw of 16.

Asked if there are enough big events in India to keep the Indian players interested, Ghosal said: "It’s not a question of keeping the Indian players interested.  I think running big tournaments in India is a big fillip to the sport. The Indian players would not have to travel much, that would be the convenience.

"Those who are not PSA members, they get to see the top players in action.  The more they see them play, the more they will have an idea of the level they need to get to in four or five year’s time when they decide to become a professional. 

"There is no substitute for watching the top guys prepare for events, the way they play matches against different people. For players like us, it’s brilliant to have events like this in India," he signed off.

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