11:48 am
16 Apr 2024

Hosts India Celebrate Quarter-Final World Championship Berth In Chennai

9 Dec 2007

After three days of almost all results going according to the seedings, hosts India pulled off a sensational upset in today's last sixteen round in the ICL Men's World Team Championship in Chennai to earn a place in the quarter-finals for the first time since 1979.

The tenth seeds faced Wales, the 1999 runners-up seeded one position higher. Former Indian National champion Ritwik Bhattacharya, 28, from New Delhi, put the hosts in a commanding position with an 11-6, 11-10 (3-1), 11-7 win over David Evans, the former British Open champion from Pontypool.

But reigning national champion Saurav Ghosal, the world No48 from Kolkata currently studying at Leeds University in England, recovered from a game down against veteran Welshman Alex Gough, ranked 23 places higher, to clinch victory for his country when his opponent retired injured with the score standing at 10-11 (2-4), 11-7, 11-3.

Ex-Harvard student Siddharth Suchde, from Mumbai, made it 3/0 for the underdogs when he beat Jethro Binns 11-8, 7-11, 11-2.

"I am absolutely delighted - this is great for Indian squash," said India's National Coach Cyrus Poncha. "The Squash Rackets Federation of India has done a magnificent job over the past few years and now we reap its reward. The boys played outstandingly today and they all deserve this victory as they have toiled hard for the past few years."

Australian coach Byron Davis told www.squashsite.co.uk: "I have been seeing Indian squash at close quarters, at World Juniors, World doubles and so on. The support for the game is great here. India is becoming the hotbed for world squash. Saurav and Ritwik are gutsy players, I am sure they will get into the top fifty.''

Referees' assessor Rod Symington, from Canada, added: "This is the best Indian team I have seen in 25 years. The coaching has been superb. It is always hard to motivate yourself to win for your country. Easier to win for yourself because there is personal gain - big money. That's why one sees home teams putting up a good show at events like the Olympics: It's pure national pride that took the Indians through."

Another upset took Netherlands into the last eight for the first time since 1991 - and consigned five times world champions Pakistan to the play-offs for the 9-16 places for only the third time in 20 appearances in the championships since the inaugural event in 1967!

Dylan Bennett put the eighth seeds ahead, beating former Asian junior champion Mansoor Zaman 10-11 (4-6), 11-10 (5-3), 11-7, 11-8. Dutch No1 Laurens Jan Anjema sealed victory by beating top Pakistani Aamir Atlas Khan 11-3, 11-9, 11-4.

Last sixteen round (playing order 2-1-3):

[1] EGYPT bt [15] HONG KONG 3-0
Karim Darwish bt Max Lee 11-4, 11-6, 11-3 (28m)
Amr Shabana bt Dick Lau 11-7, 11-2, 11-10 (2-0) (24m)
Mohammed Abbas bt Anson Kwong 11-8, 11-4 (17m)

[10] INDIA bt [9] WALES 3-0
Ritwik Bhattacharya bt David Evans 11-6, 11-10 (3-1), 11-7 (38m)
Saurav Ghosal bt Alex Gough 10-11 (2-4), 11-7, 11-3 ret. (50m)
Siddharth Suchde bt Jethro Binns 11-8, 7-11, 11-2 (31m)

[4] AUSTRALIA bt [14] USA 3-0
Stewart Boswell bt Christopher Gordon 11-3, 11-5, 11-7 (35m)
David Palmer bt Julian Illingworth 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 (32m)
Scott Arnold bt Jamie Crombie 8-11, 11-7, 11-4 (41m)

[6] CANADA bt [12] SOUTH AFRICA 2-1
Shahier Razik bt Stephen Coppinger 11-7, 11-9, 11-4 (47m)
Jonathon Power bt Jesse Engelbrecht 11-4, 11-2, 11-2 (28m)
Matthew Giuffre lost to Adrian Hansen 11-9, 5-11, 6-11 (27m)

[5] MALAYSIA bt [11] IRELAND 2-1
Ong Beng Hee bt John Rooney 11-2, 9-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-5 (78m)
Mohd Azlan Iskandar bt Liam Kenny 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (44m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan lost to Derek Ryan 11-6, 7-11, 7-11 (29m)

[3] FRANCE bt [13] NEW ZEALAND 3-0
Thierry Lincou bt Campbell Grayson 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-3 (36m)
Gregory Gaultier bt Kashif Shuja 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (23m)
Julien Balbo bt Joshua Greenfield 11-9, 10-11 (0-2), 11-5 (34m)

[8] NETHERLANDS bt [7] PAKISTAN 2-1
Dylan Bennett bt Mansoor Zaman 10-11 (4-6), 11-10 (5-3), 11-7, 11-8 (49m)
Laurens Jan Anjema bt Aamir Atlas Khan 11-3, 11-9, 11-4 (33m)
Piedro Schweertman lost to Farhan Mehboob 7-11, 7-11 (18m)

[2] ENGLAND bt [16] GERMANY 3-0
James Willstrop bt Tim Weber 11-6, 11-2, 11-8 (27m)
Nick Matthew bt Simon Rosner 11-4, 11-6, 11-10 (2-0) (32m)
Lee Beachill bt Moritz Dahmen 11-1, 11-7 (13m)

17th - 32nd place play-offs:
[17/24] FINLAND bye

[17/24] SWEDEN bt [25/29] BERMUDA 3-0
Rasmus Hult bt Melrindo Caines 11-7, 11-2, 11-5 (19m)
Christian Drakenberg bt Chase Toogood 11-4, 11-5, 11-5 (29m)
Gustav Detter bt Robert Maycock 11-3, 11-5 (12m)

[17/24] JAPAN bye

[17/24] AUSTRIA bt [25/29] VENEZUELA 3-0
Andreas Freudensprung bt Juan Pablo Sanchez 11-6, 11-6, 11-0 (14m)
Aqeel Rehman bt Francisco Valecillo 11-5, 11-7, 11-3 (19m)
Stefan Brauneis bt Luis Hernandes 11-5, 11-3 (14m)

[17/24] KUWAIT bt [25/29] RUSSIA 3-0
Abdullah Almezayen bt Sergey Kostrikin 11-3, 11-2, 11-2 (16m)
Bader Al Hussaini bt Alexei Severinov 11-1, 10-11 (0-2), 11-2, 11-6 (29m)
Mohammed Hajeyah bt Valery Litvinko 11-2, 11-5 (10m)

[17/24] SCOTLAND bt [25/29] CHINESE TAIPEI 3-0
Stuart Crawford bt Huang Hsuen-Chih 11-4, 11-1, 11-1 (12m)
Alan Clyne bt Chang Chun-Yu 11-0, 11-2, 11-3 (16m)
Harry Leitch bt Chen Ching-Han 11-2, 11-3 (11m)

[17/24] KENYA bt [25/29] SRI LANKA 2-1
Rajdeep Bains lost to Navin Samarasinghe 5-11, 11-10 (3-1), 5-11, 4-11 (43m)
Hardeep Reel bt Saman Thilakaratna 11-5, 10-11 (0-2), 11-9, 11-3 (43m)
Otto Kwach bt Anura Hewage 11-8, 11-4, 11-3 (24m)

[17/24] SPAIN bye