After missing out in Chennai two years ago, Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa emerged as champions in the Asian Individual Squash Championship at Kuala Lumpur. This is the first time India have won both the titles.

First, 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.

Ghosal, the top seed and finalist last year, stepped onto the court next and beat the fourth seed Leo Au Chun Ming [Hong Kong] in straight games 11-9, 11-2, 11-8.

Fine form

In the Macau Open last month, Au had beaten Chinappa in straight games for her 12th win in 20 meetings between the two.

Chinappa had not beaten Au since September 2017 in the Hong Kong International Open and she would have been a little nervous but she managed to put all that aside and cruise to a win. She slipped in the second game but recovered superbly to carve out a great win.

“I thought I really played well, in the final. I had lost to Annie a 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, on the other hand, worked his way to a convincing win without ever giving King a look in. There was a consistency to his play that made him very difficult to counter.

“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 a good week of squash for me squash wise. Great day for India and hopefully this will lead to further success in the near future,” said Ghosal after the win.

A delighted national coach Cyrus Poncha said: “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.”