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Rediff.com  » Sports » Ritwik upsets Hafiz to reach quarters

Ritwik upsets Hafiz to reach quarters

September 08, 2005 01:17 IST

India's Ritwik Bhattacharya pulled off an upset, getting the better of fourth seed Egyptian Mohammed Essam A Hafiz in a pulsating game to move into the quarter-final of the Kolkata International Squash championship on Wednesday.

But senior national champion Sourav Ghosal went down after a valiant fight, to top seed Mohammed Azlan Iskandar of Malaysia in the opening round at the Calcutta Racquet club.

Bhattacharya, who entered the main draw via the qualifiers, displayed fine athleticism and let loose some solid attacking strokes to outsmart Hafiz 11-9 8-11 9-11 11-3 11-8 on a day when four seeds fell by the wayside.

The Egyptian, who came only this morning, seemed tired and lost steam in the last two games as Ritwik seized control to set up a last eight date with Pakistan's Khayal Mohammed who emerged a surprise winner against fifth seeded Ben Garner of England 11-10 (2-0) 5-11 11-7 and 11-8.

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Nineteen-year-old Ghosal, who got a wild card for the tournament, never seemed overawed by his opponent, ranked 15th in the world, and gave a good exhibition of artistic touchplay and deft placings, before losing 8-11 11-9 7-11 and 3-11.

The Malaysian, facing Ghosal for the first time in his career, seemed a trifle taken aback by the local lad's showing.

However, Iskandar clinched the issue by putting his experience to good use in the fourth game when he changed his gameplan and went for powerful angled forehand serves which foxed Ghosal with their topspin.

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