Asian Games squash: India assured of three medals

Saurav Ghosal
Saurav Ghosal. File photo: IANS

Hangzhou: Saurav Ghosal was dominant in his men's singles victory, while the mixed doubles pairs were also equally facile in their waltz to the semifinals of the squash competition, assuring India of three medals in the Asian Games here on Tuesday.

Veteran Ghosal was in his element while scoring 11-5, 12-10, 11-3 win over Japan's Ryunosuke Tsukue, while the mixed doubles team of Anahat Singh and Abhay Singh defeated Yang Yeonsoo and Dongjun Lee 11-4, 8-11, 11-1 in 32 minutes.

India started the quarterfinals on a bright note through the mixed doubles duo of Dipika Pallikal and Harindar Pal Singh Sidhu, who produced a come-from-behind victory over Jemyca Aribado and Andrew Garica of Philippines 7-11, 11-5, 11-4.

However, it was curtains for India's Tanvi Khanna as she lost to Satomi Watanabe 5-11, 6-11, 12-14 in the women's singles quarterfinals.

Ghosal, a gold medallist in Incheon Games 2014, brought forth his years of experience to put it against Tsukue as the Indian breezed past the first game 11-4.

But the Japanese gave the top-seeded Ghosal a more challenging time in the second game, running the Indian close point by point.

However, Ghosal found an opening when the score was 11-10, as the Indian's powerful forehand caught the Japanese short in the back court. Ghosal took that game 12-10.

Once he conceded a 2-0 lead, the fight seemed to have ebbed out of the Japanese, as Ghosal ran roughshod over him to win the game 11-3 in just 10 minutes and the match along with it.

Ghosal brought the winning moment with a neatly placed low volley near the front wall that Tsukue failed to even reach.

Earlier, in the mixed doubles, the Philippines duo started the game well and built a 9-6 lead from where they won it easily.

But Dipika and Harinder regrouped quickly in the next two games to win as their rivals struggled to hit the front wall regularly and failed to retrieve the ball effectively.

In the pre-quarterfinals matches, Dipika and Harinder Sidhu breezed past Japan's Risa Sugimoto and Tomotaka Endo 2-0 (11-5, 11-5) in Pool A, while Anahat teamed up with Abhay to beat Hong Kong's Tsz Wing Tong and Ming Hong Tang in 2-0 (11-10, 11-8) in Pool D. 

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