Day 1. Round 1. Saurav Ghosal

Andy Taylor. Sports Emcee. Qatar Classic Squash Championship. Day 1. Round 1. Saurav Ghosal

Sports Emcee. Andy Taylor. Qatar Classic 2017

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[Q] Saurav Ghosal (IND) def Daryl Selby (ENG) 11-4 11-8 11-2 (40-min)

Saurav Ghosal has rediscovered his game for the new 2017-18 season. In the past three months, the former World #15 and highest ranked Indian player of all time won a record 12th Indian Nationals Title, reached his 13th career PSA Tour Final at the Macau Open, then made a Semifinal run at the St. George’s Hill Classic…as a QUALIFIER. Impressive.

Currently the World #26, Saurav blasted through qualifying in Doha without losing a game. He came into today’s clash with Selby knowing he’d have to play his best squash. Out of their 9 career matches, Saurav had only one victory, 7-years-ago in a non-PSA league match in Edinburgh. They last met on this court 10-years-ago, in a grueling 83-minute Qatar Classic qualifier that saw Selby earn the win, 11-8 in the decider.

Saurav Ghosal. Brilliant from first serve

For someone 0-7 against Selby in PSA Tour play, Saurav Ghosal played a remarkable match. He dominated game-1, allowing Daryl only 4-points. Selby made game-2 competitive, but clearly struggled to find his rhythm. By the third, deep in the hole, the Brit was thoroughly annoyed, taking-out his frustration on match referee Roy Gingell. The court was too slippery. In just 40-minutes, Ghosal claimed his first Tour triumph over Selby, eliminating last year’s Semifinalist 11-2 in the third. (FULL MATCH RECAP)

Daryl Selby. Tough draws trampling his rhythm

This season’s road has been bumpy for Daryl. He fell early at the China Open to Ramy Ashour, then to Mohamed ElShorbagy in San Francisco. Nick Matthew took him out at the US Open, before Diego Elias beat him in three last week at the St. George’s Hill Classic. It’s hard to find focus and consistency on the glass court when the best in the sport continually cramp your draw.

He was hoping to return to top-form in Doha, where he reached his second career World Series Semifinal last year; but Saurav Ghosal used his time on court in qualifying and confidence from deep-runs in Macau and St. George’s Hill to earn the upset.

Back to basics for Selby. It’s one thing to fall early to Ashour, ElShorbagy or Matthew…but to get punted in straights by the World #26? That may take some soul searching. Then again, his wife is due to give birth to their third child at any moment. Who has time for soul-searching nonsense?