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Asian Games Squash: Saurav Ghosal enters semis

Last updated on: November 19, 2010 16:44 IST

Ace racqueter Saurav Ghosal kept the Indian hopes alive by progressing into the semi-finals of the men's singles squash event, even as the women players Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal bow out of the medal contention at the Asian Games.

Doha Asian Games bronze medallist and world ranked 25th Ghosal defeated countrymate Siddharth Suchde 3-0 in the quarter-final here at the Town Gymnasium's centre court.

The 25-year-old overwhelmed world ranked 73rd Suchde 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 in 44 minutes to book his berth into the last-four stage.

It was business as usual for Ghosal, who was classy in his approach, execution of shots and dead drops for winners in all three games, which he won without much resistance.

Ghosal will now be preparing himself for a sterner test ahead as the UK-based Indian will be up against higher seed Malaysia's Azlan Iskandar, who defeated Hong Kong's H Y Lee 3-1, in the semi-final on Saturday.

In the women's singles, Chennai girls Pallikal and Chinappa fought their hearts out but eventually ran out of steam against top-ranked Malaysian rivals to bow out of the individual competition.

Chinappa, ranked 37th in the world, gave a real scare to third seeded Malaysian Low Wee Wern, ranked 16th globally, by claiming the first two sets but the latter fought back to grab the remaining three and edge past the Indian 3-2 in their quarterfinal clash.

Wern won the 61-minute battle 7-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-3 to enter the semi-finals.

Pallikal, ranked 36th in the world, also gave a good account of herself against world number one and top-seed Nicol David of Malaysia by taking a set off the title-favourite before being beaten 3-1.

The Indian lost the 38-minute quarter-final encounter 8-11, 11-7, 6-11, 4-11.

India coach Cyrus Poncha praised the performance of the two girls, saying that they lost after giving a good fight.

"Both played very well today, but still lost. Both put up good performances. We are now looking forward to the team event. We will try to make up for the disappointment in the individual event and get a medal there," he said.

Pallikal said she could have won the first game that she eventually lost before making it 1-1 by winning the second.

"I had a chance in the first game to win it. Then I won the second, which gave me a lot of confidence," she said.

However, she conceded she lost to a much superior opponent. "In the end I lost because my opponent was just too strong," she said.

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