Saurav Ghosal -11- (IND) def Leo Au -22- (HKG)
Match recap from Squash Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar Classic.
Round-2 Final: 11-2, 11-3, 11-5 (29m)
Saurav Ghosal reached the 3rd-Round of a PSA Platinum event for the first time at the 2010 British Grand Prix in Manchester. Four years later, he did it again at the Windy City Open. Under the previous “World Series” format, those were Quarterfinal appearances, earned with 1st and 2nd-Round victories.
Since then, the best he’s done is Round-2…until this year.
With the introduction of the Platinum format, earlier this month Ghosal reached Round-3 of the US Open for the first time, thanks to a 1st-Round Bye and a win over Tom Richards. Today, India’s top talent made it two Round-of-16 PSA Platinums in-a-row with a redeeming 3-game victory over Hong Kong’s Leo Au.
You see, earlier this Summer, Leo won a corker over Saurav at the Asian Games (see below). Being a curious announcer, I asked Saurav if his dominant performance was “personal.” Was he seeking redemption after that Semifinal loss?
Previous 3 matches between Ghosal and Au
► Aug 2018 – Asian Games (SF) – Leo Au | Score: 10-12, 11-13, 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (76m)
► Apr 2017 – Asian Championship (SF) – Saurav Ghosal | Score: 11-6, 11-7, 11-3 (37m)
► Apr 2016 – El Gouna International (R1) – Leo Au | Score: 7-11, 11-4, 13-11, 14-12 (59m)
Without a beat, Saurav said “absolutely not.” He harbors no resentment against any opponent – ever, and doesn’t believe in revenge. He respects every opponent, and every match is a new opportunity regardless of previous results. Well said.
And to get this one done in under 30-minutes is promising for the World #11. He’ll need that competitive edge against a very tough Ali Farag in the Round of 16.
Each player’s announcer introduction for today’s Round-2 match…
Saurav Ghosal -11- (IND)
At 32-years-old, this 12-time Indian Nationals Champion returns to Doha with a career-high ranking of World #11. 12-years-ago on this court, he became the first squash player from India ever to earn a medal at the Asian Games, capturing individual bronze; and 7-years-later, became the first Indian player ever to reach the Quarterfinals of the prestigious PSA World Championship.
A 3-time PSA Platinum Quarterfinalist, last year here in Doha – as a qualifier – he earned his first main-draw Qatar Classic victory, defeating 2016 Semifinalist Daryl Selby in the 1st-Round. He went on to capture his 7th and 8th PSA titles, won Mixed Doubles Silver at the Commonwealth Games, and finished the season ranked inside the top-12 for the first time. He started the new season over the Summer, capturing individual and Team Bronze at the Asian Games in Jakarta; then opened his PSA season with a Semifinal run in Shanghai. From India, please welcome the #11 Player in the World, Saurav Ghosal.
▲ R1 — Bye
Saurav Ghosal is an Indian record breaker:
- 2006: In Doha, became the 1st squash player from India ever to medal at the Asian Games (Bronze)
- 2013: In the UK, became the 1st player from India ever to reach the QF of the PSA World Championship
- 2014: India’s 1st Asian Games Team Championship Gold Medal. Defeated World #7 Ong Beng Hee of Malaysia in the championship round.
- NOTE: Ong Beng Hee is now one of the Qatar Classic tournament organizers.
Leo Au -22- (HKG)
At 28-years-old, he now owns 10 PSA titles, and has been on an absolute tear since his season began in July. He started the new season by capturing his 5th Hong Kong Nationals title, climbed to a career-high ranking of World #20, then reached the Semifinals of the Malaysian Open. But he wasn’t done. At the Asian Games in Jakarta, he won both individual Gold and Team Silver, then battled-through to the championship matches of both the Hong Kong FC International and the CAS International in Islamabad. He’s played 27 matches already this season, and has won 22 of them. Now a 19-time Finalist on Tour, he defeated England’s Ben Coleman on Saturday to reach the 2nd-Round here in Doha for the 3rd-time. Competing in his 6th Qatar Classic Squash Championship – From Hong Kong, please welcome the #22 Player in the World, Leo Au.
▲ R1 — def Ben Coleman -43- (ENG) | Score: 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-3 (53m) | RECAP