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20 May 2024

Two-Game Fightback Sees Ghosal Make Squash On Fire Open Quarters

24 Feb 2023

Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal, the event's second seed, was forced to fight back from two games down to overcome the challenge of England's Nathan Lake to reach the quarter-finals of the Squash On Fire Open, the PSA World Tour Bronze event in its third year in Washington DC, USA

It was the Englishman who started the stronger of the two, holding a commanding two-game lead after being awarded a stroke on game ball in the second. However, from there, Ghosal battled back strongly to take the match into a decider.

Ghosal then led 10-8 in the fifth, but Lake was able to save two game balls. The Englishman then saved a third in the tie-break, but the tournament's No.2 seed scraped through after 86 minutes of action, winning the fifth 13-11 to move into the quarter finals.

"Nathan played extremely well today. He made it uncomfortable for me from the first point. I probably didn't hit my marks as I would have liked but that was to do with the pressure that he put me under," Ghosal said.

"It took a long while to get to him, but I am happy that I dug in and put a lot of hard yards in through those games. Even in the end, Nathan put together some very impressive rallies!"

Top seed Victor Crouin was also taken the full distance. The Frenchman took the lead twice in his clash with Timothy Brownell, but the American battled back on both occasions. The world No.10 eventually got the job done, winning the fifth 11-5.

Elsewhere in the men's draw, Egypt's Omar Mosaad and Mohamed ElSherbini set up an enticing quarter final as both men came through their respective second round contests in four games.

Mosaad overcame the challenge of former world No.1 James Willstrop, as the pair met on Tour for the first time in six years. It was a tight and tense battle throughout, with a second game tie-break being crucial in the Egyptian's victory.

"I knew it was going to be a hard game, especially playing against James," said Mosaad later. "He is one of the most experienced squash players on the Tour now.

"I think it was ups and downs, especially in the second game. I was just focussed, going point-by-point. If I lose a game, I come back and try to win the match, it is step-by-step. You have to keep moving, you have to keep fighting."

In the women's event, 15-year-old wildcard Amina Orfi got the better of the returning Sivasangari Subramaniam to reach the last eight.

The Egyptian, who is the current World Junior Champion, defeated England's Lucy Beecroft in straight games in the opening round of the competition, and is now unbeaten in 14 matches on Tour, thanks to winning her last three events on the Challenger Tour.

Subramaniam was featuring on Tour for the first time since suffering injuries in a road traffic accident in June 2022. She looked good early on, but Orfi was able to grind out the first in a tie-break 12-10. The young Egyptian then went on to win the next two games comfortably to reach a first PSA World Tour quarter final.

Orfi is joined in the quarter finals by two more Egyptians, in Nada Abbas and Nadine Shahin. Abbas got the better of compatriot Jana Shiha in straight games, while Shahin defeated Frenchwoman Marie Stephan to advance.