Ghosal to play in singles and mixed doubles in CWG
Mumbai, Feb 7 (PTI) National men's champion and the number one Indian player on the Professional Squash Circuit, Saurav Ghosal, will be playing in singles and mixed doubles events at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, he announced here.
"I will be playing in the singles and mixed doubles with Dipika Pallikal and will not play in men's doubles at the Commonwealth Games, which will be my third," he told reporters today at the National Sports Club of India in Worli here.
The 31-year-old, currently ranked 14th on the world PSA circuit, is married to Dipika's sister Diya.
Ghosal, a 12-time national champion, is here to take part in the inaugural Vedanta Indian Open Squash tournament, a USD 35,000 PSA event promoted by former players Rhea Bhandare and Jay Jhaveri through their firm 5Sports.
Ghosal had lost to the then world no. 1 James Willstrop of England in the singles semi finals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow, Scotland.
The 31-year-old, who is the top seed in the 16-man main draw commencing tomorrow, said his performance over the last six months has been good which has given him the shot-in- the-arm to do well in not only the CWG but also in the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, scheduled later this year.
"I have been playing well over the last six months and have a decent chance (to do well) in Australia. But the field will be strong. The draw is deep and someone like Greg Lobban (world no. 33 from Scotland who is playing in the Indian Open event) may not be in the top eight in seedings."
"I will be taking one match at a time. I will be playing in two more PSA events before the Indian team's short camp in Chennai in March before heading to Australia for the Commonwealth Games," said Ghosal, who had a 31-18 win-loss record last year and also won the CCI International title here in November.
Looking ahead to the Asian Games, the quadrennial event in which he squandered multiple match-points in the gold medal match against Kuwaiti Abdullah Al-Muzayen and settled for the individual silver medal in Incheon in 2014, Ghosal said he was keen to have another shot at the title.
"Asian Games is also important. I was disappointed not to win the gold in 2014 but winning the team gold was some sort of redemption. I will give it my best shot as well and if all things fall in place I will be in good space."
Ghosal had won the singles bronze in Doha, Qatar in 2006 and Guangzhou, China four years later, besides being part of the Indian team that finished with the bronze in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.
Another leading Indian player Mahesh Mangaonkar, who has secured a wild card into the main draw in the Indian Open here, is back to serious play after a three-month hiatus.
"Physically I am in good shape. I had a longer off- season between September and November when I was only training.
"I don't have any targets but want to perform at my best to reach the top 30. If I win enough matches I will automatically get what I want to," said Mangaonkar.
Some other top players in the main draw of the PSA event here apart from the two Indians and Scot Lobban, the world No. 233, are Swiss Nicolas Mueller (world no 24), Egyptians Omar Mossad (world no 22) and Karim Al Fathi, along with former national champion Harinder Pal Sandhu who has recovered from an injury and is ranked 49th