The two stars of Indian squash – the men’s top seed Saurav Ghosal and reigning champion Joshna Chinappa – stormed into the final of the Asian Individual Squash Championship with convincing semi-final victories in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.
Women’s second seed Joshna defeated sixth seed Sivasangari Subramaniam of Malaysia 11-7, 12-10, 11-3 while Ghosal ousted another local favourite, the seventh seed Eain Yow Ng 11-2, 11-6, 11-4.
Joshna was the first to appear on the court and according to coach Harinder Pal Sandhu, she could not have made a better start to a match, running away with an early lead against Sivasangari, who had defeated the Indian at the Asian Games.
There was focus and determination in the Indian to start with and even though Sivasangari caught up with her in the second game and forced her to draw parity at 10 points, Joshna did not lose control.
The third game saw the Indian at her relentless best as she ran away with a comfortable win for a confident entry into the title round, where she will face the top seed Annie Au of Hong Kong.
Ghosal, the previous edition’s finalist, was pitted against the 2016 world junior champion Eain, but on court, it was the Indian who held the whip hand as he showed his ability to produce accurate returns against his opponent’s repeated failures.
Both enjoyed rallies and there were many played at fierce pace but Ghosal’s touch ensured most of them finished in his favour.
Considering the intensity of the contest it was a fine effort by Ghosal in finishing the match in 32 minutes. Ghosal, who had become the first Indian male player to reach the top 10 of the world rankings, will meet Leo Au Chun Ming, the fourth seed from Hong Kong, in the final on Sunday.