Saurav Ghosal, Joshna Chinappa crowned Asian champions

Joshna Chinappa successfully defended her title beating the top seed Annie Au of Hong Kong 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6 and Saurav Ghosal downed the fourth seed Leo Au Chun Ming 11-9, 11-2, 11-8.

India's Saurav Ghosal (left) and Joshna Chinappa pose after winning the Asian Individual Squash Championship.   -  Special Arrangement

Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa rewrote India's squash history when the duo emerged champions in the Asian Individual Squash Championship in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.

Joshna Chinappa, the second seed, successfully defended her title beating the top seed Annie Au of Hong Kong 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6 and Ghosal, the top seed and finalist last year ensured there was no slip this time when he downed the fourth seed Leo Au Chun Ming, also of Hong Kong in straight games 11-9, 11-2, 11-8.

It easily was one of Joshna's most memorable match. Only last month in the Macau Open Annie had beaten her in straight games for her 12th win in 20 meetings the two had till then.

Joshna last beat Annie Au in September 2017 in the Hong Kong International Open.

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Joshna played with a fixity of purpose and with lot of conviction. She slipped in the second to send jitters in the Indian camp but recovered well to beat all of Annie's designs and carve out a great win.

Ghosal too was on cue and never allowed anything to go astray as he meticulously worked his way to a convincing win. Except for the first game and to some extent in the third, there was little that the Hong Kong player could do in terms of a fight as Ghosal covered himself with glory, his maiden success at this level.

"I thought I really played well, in the final. I had lost to Annie few times prior to this. So I had come prepared, and the court and the conditions helped. More importantly I found the length and that was the key and yes am very happy to defend the title," gushed Joshna after the success.

Ghosal was equally upbeat and said, "I am happy to win the Asian title for the first time. I had come close in the past but did not cross the line then. So it is hugely satisfying to finally win it for India. Overall, it is a good week of squash for me squash wise. It is a great day for India and hopefully this will lead to further success in the near future," he said.

A delighted national coach Cyrus Poncha said, "It was a fabulous result in the Asian Championship. What was missed two years ago, we have for the first time won both the titles. It is a massive achievement and both players have been working hard for this. Saurav is in the top 10 in the world and Joshna's is 15. A system was set two decades ago has now begun to push Indian squash forward in a glorious way," he added.

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