Windy City Open: Saurav Ghosal to lead the Indian challenge
Squash ace Saurav Ghosal will lead a trio of Indians as the prestigious $150,000 Windy City Open begins in Chicago on February 23. While Saurav is the only Indian in the main draw, Mahesh Mangaonkar and Sachika Ingale will have to fight it out in the qualifying rounds.
India’s top two women’s squash players, Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal do not feature in the draw.
The World No. 20 Ghosal returned to the PSA World Tour just last week since sustaining a foot injury at December’s Hong Kong Open. He played the Colombia Open where he reached the quarter-finals before bowing out to the World No. 4 and eventual runner-up Omar Mosaad.
The Indian is unseeded at the Windy City Open and begins against a qualifier on Friday. His potential second round opponent is once again Mosaad. It will be interesting to see if he can push the Egyptian this time.
Just like Ghosal, the 67th ranked Mangaonkar too is coming back from a health-related hiatus. He played his first PSA tournament in two months at the Cactus Classic earlier in February and made it to the semi-finals. In Chicago, he will play his first round of qualifying against World No. 44 Declan James of England.
The third Indian, Sachika Ingale will meet the 56th ranked Egyptian teenager Hania El Hammamy in her opening round of qualifying. The in-form Hammamy is the reigning British Junior U 17 Open winner and will pose a tough challenge for the World No. 84, who last played at the Edinburgh Open three weeks back.
The main draw of this PSA World Series event begins on Thursday.