Saurav Ghosal rallies to down Swiss Mueller for Indian Open title
National champion and top seed Saurav Ghosal made a brilliant rally in the deciding final game to put it across number 2 seed Nicolas Mueller and clinch the title in the USD 35,000 Vedanta Indian Open Squash tournament here today.
Ghosal, ranked 14th, won 3-2 after a no-holds-barred, 67-minute final against the much taller Swiss ranked 33rd in the world for his second crown at home in four months on the Professional Squash Association tour.
The 31-year-old Ghosal won 11-9 5-11 6-11 11-7 12-10, after bouncing back from 3-7 and 5-8 by reeling off five straight points to hold championship points at 10-8.
The Swiss, who had lost to Ghosal in three straight games in the final of the CCI International event in November last, saved both to draw level at 10-all but could not save the third after the 12-time Indian champion applied relentless pressure and lost.
Mueller had beaten Ghosal in three straight games in January, 2017 in the Tournament of Champions in the USA earlier but could come only second-best in the last two meetings between the two players.
"Today neither of us deserved to lose. It was a great match. We entertained the crowd. Both of us fought clean in the way we played. I am happy I came out on tops but congratulations to Nicky for the way he played," said the Indian champion after his title win.
"I have been watching him all week. He was unbelievable. He played so well even today. I was 2-1 down. I don't think I played badly but he played very well. He countered so well," said Ghosal.
"I did well in the fourth-fifth. I was down all the way through 5-8. I don't think I played errors. He played really well. I had a very good patch, not short hitting but hitting it to the back. I was getting the length and width the way I wanted it to. I had to do something special and put him under pressure. There were brutal rallies. At 10-all, it was anyone's match," he added.
The 28-year-old Swiss, standing a head taller than the Indian champion, used the drops to good effect after losing the opening game, to lead 2-1.
Ghosal fought back to make it 2-2 by making Mueller scamper around the court chasing the ball with quick changes of pace and angles in the fourth game after the score stood 7-all.
The deciding fifth game saw both players fighting tooth and nail but the Swiss seemed to hold an edge with a few forehand winners at 8-5 before Ghosal bounced back in brilliant fashion with some excellent retrievals and punishing shots.
After drawing level at 8-all, Mueller twice found the 'tin' to trail 8-10, retrieved poise to draw level before conceding a 'stroke' and then finding the tin again while attempting a backhand drop when facing a third match-ball to lose the summit clash