7:33 pm
21 Nov 2017

Saurav Sinks Selby As Elias Also Impresses In Doha

29 Oct 2017

Qualifiers Saurav Ghosal and Leo Au both claimed unexpected second round berths in the Qatar Classic in Doha where unseeded Peruvian Diego Elias also claimed a major seeding scalp on an opening day of shocks in the PSA World Series event in the Qatar capital.

Ghosal, the former world No.15 from India who fell as low as 30 on the rankings earlier this year following a poor run of form, oozed confidence as he dominated on court against England's higher-ranked Daryl Selby. The 31-year-old used his pace and movement to expose Selby and looked like a player renewed as he saw out the match 3/0 to record his first ever Tour win over the Englishman and also secure a second round slot in the event for the first time in his career.

"I had a good week last week at St George's (PSA M100 event) and had a decent start to the season in Macau too - so I'm just trying to enjoy my squash as much as I possibly can," said the Kolkata-based Ghosal.

"I'm enjoying playing and feeling privileged to be competing at great events such as this in Qatar. I'm trying to do the things I know I'm capable of - things which in the past I haven't executed as well as I should have.

"If I can enjoy it for the most part then I feel I can give a good account of myself," added Ghosal, who now faces Elias.

The 20-year-old from Lima - who began his season with victory over three-time World Champion Nick Matthew at the NetSuite Open in September - showed impressive maturity and composure as he came from behind in the opening game against 7th seed James Willstrop to counter the Englishman's trademark accuracy and set up the foundations for the 3/0 win that cements his graduation from prodigal talent to genuine top calibre contender on the PSA World Tour.

"Last time we played it was about a year ago and he played so well that day that I couldn't do anything," said Elias.

"It's always hard to play against a player like him so today I just tried to apply as much pressure as I could throughout the match and keep my concentration levels high.

"The first game was crucial. I think I was down 8-3 and I just tried to change things up and move him around the court. I feel confident on court and feel like my game is coming together well so I hope this can be a good tournament for me."

Au was another surprise winner as he recorded a 3/1 win over Ryan Cuskelly, the Australian who is ranked 12 places higher.

Meanwhile world No.1 Gregory Gaultier marked his return from injury with a comfortable 3/0 win over Mexico's Cesar Salazar.

"It's been tough recently with the ankle injury so I came here just happy to be back on court," said Gaultier.

"Cesar has been playing well and had some good wins recently so I'm just pleased to come through."

Two-time tournament winner Mohamed Elshorbagy was amongst the other winners on the day alongside fellow Egyptians Fares Dessouky, Zahed Mohamed and Ali Farag.