Top seed Saurav Ghosal of India was in his elements as he knocked out fifth seed Karim Al Fathi 3-0 to enter the semi finals of the USD 35,000 Vedanta Indian Squash Open in Mumbai on Friday.
Ghosal, the world No 14, who has won the national title on 12 occasions, surged to 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 victory in just 37 minutes against the world No 39 Fathi at the NSCI courts.
But another Indian hope, 49th ranked Harinder Pal Sandhu, made his exit as he went down to third-seeded Scot Greg Lobban, the world No 33, 1-3 after raising hope by winning the opening game. Sandhu lost 11-9 5-11 9-11 7-11.
In the opening game, Ghosal was down 4-6 and then 6-7 against Fathi before he struck a purple patch. He got to game ball at 10-8 with a backhand winner and another backhand winner gave him the first game.
In the second game, the Indian champion took a commanding 7-2 lead before Egyptian fought back but the leeway was too big to bridge.
In the third game too, Ghosal quickly got into his groove and led 8-3 and then held a match-ball at 10-6.
The Egyptian saved one point but then lost the last point via a ‘stroke’.
“Last year, I lost to Fathi and I knew it was going to be a hard match and I had to be very precise on what I wanted to do. I think the first game was quite even, but I think I did well towards the end of the game to win that. Then on I got relaxed a little bit more and used my skill both to the back and to the front to open up the court to be better. Overall I did what I wanted to do,” said the 31-year-old Indian ace after entering the semis.
Results (Quarter finals): 1-Saurav Ghosal (Ind) bt 5-Karim Al Fathi (Egy) 3-0; 3-Greg Lobban (Sco) bt Harinder Pal Sandhu (ind) 9-11 11-5 11-9 11-7.