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20 Jun 2024

Hafiz Halts Local Hero Ghosal

25 Jul 2004

Egypt's Mohamed Essam A Hafiz disappointed local crowds in the climax of the ICL Chennai Open when he outplayed the energetic young 17-year-old and home-crowd favourite Saurav Ghosal in straight games in the final in the Indian city of Chennai.

Sixth seed Ghosal, who won the British Junior Open title for the first time earlier this year, led domestic interest from the quarter-final stage when he upset fourth-seeded Egyptian Amr Mansi in straight games to take an unexpected place in the semi-finals.

Here he pulled off the shock of the tournament when he despatched favourite Jean-Michel Arcucci, the experienced former French National champion, 11-15 15-8 15-8 15-9 in 72 minutes to reach his second PSA Tour final.

From the first game, second seed Hafiz had the Indian teenager scampering all over the court. Essam's unpredictable shot-making ability had the crowd, not to mention Saurav, gasping in awe.

Saurav gave everything he had, but it was not enough to test the talented Egyptian who went on to claim his second PSA Tour title this year with a 15-4 15-7 15-9 victory in 43 minutes.