Indian squash players Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa have won the men’s and women’s final respectively at the Asian Individual Squash Championship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Ghosal defeated Leo Au Chun Ming while Chinappa got the better of Annie Au in the summit clashes on Sunday.
An occasion that was missed in Chennai two years ago became a glorious reality in Malaysia when in the finals, first Joshna Chinappa, the second seed, successfully defended her title beating the top seed Annie Au of Hong Kong 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6. Soon after further joy came when Ghosal, the top seed and finalist last year ensured there was no slip this time when he downed the fourth seed Leo Au Chun Ming, also of Hong Kong in straight games 11-9, 11-2, 11-8.
It easily was one of Joshna's most memorable match. Only last month in the Macau Open Annie had beaten her in straight games for her 12th win in 20 meetings the two had till then. In fact not since September 2017 in the Hong Kong International Open has Joshna tasted success against the Hong Kong player. All that was set aside as the Indian played with a fixity of purpose and with lot of conviction. True she slipped in the second to send jitters in the Indian camp but recovered superbly to beat all of Annie's designs and carve out a great win.
Two-two was the standings of the two after four meetings but in the final here, Ghosal looked the master straightaway and never allowed anything to go astray as he meticulously worked his way to a convincing win. Except for the first and to some extent in the third, there was little that the Hong Kong player could do in terms of a fight as Ghosal covered himself with glory, his maiden success at this level.
“I thought I really played well, in the final. I had lost to Annie few times prior to this. So I had come prepared, and the court and the conditions helped. More importantly I found the length and that was the key and yes am very happy to defend the title,” gushed Joshna after the success.
Ghosal was equally upbeat and said, “Happy to win the Asian title for the first time. I had come close in the past but did not cross the line then. So it is hugely satisfying to finally win it for India. Overall a good week of squash for me squash wise. Great day for India and hopefully this will lead to further success in the near future,” he said.
“ It is a great success, winning two titles and an achievement that has come for the first time.I congratulate both Saurav and Joshna and wish them many more success in all their endeavors in the future,”said Mr N. Ramachandran, Patron, SRFI.
A delighted national coach Cyrus Poncha said that “it was a fabulous result in the Asian Championship. What was missed two years ago, we have for the first time won both the titles. It is a massive achievement and both players have been working hard for this. Saurav is in the top 10 in the world and Joshna's is 15. A system was set two decades ago has now begun to push Indian squash forward in a glorious way,” he added.