ICL Chennai Open 2004
21-24 July, Chennai, India, $6k

24-Jul, Final:
[2] Mohammed Essam (Qat) bt [6] Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
      15/4, 15/7, 15/9 (43m)

Essam rules in Chennai
Cyrus Poncha reports from Chennai

Mohammed Essam was in top form today as he outplayed the young energetic 17 year old and home crowd favourite Saurav Ghosal in 3 games to collect his second PSA title of 2004.

From the first game Essam had Saurav 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 very talented Essam. The little tired legs gave away in the end.

It has been a great event for the squash enthusiast of Chennai and the SRFI Secretary General, Mr. N. Ramachandran said that he would like to continue with the event next year.

ICL Chennai Open 2004
21-24 July, Chennai, India, $6k
1st Round
Wed 21st
Thu 22nd
Fri 23rd
Sat 24th
[1] Jean-Michel Arcucci (Fra)
15/2, 15/8, 15/6 (32m)
[Q] A. Parthiban (Ind)
Jean-Michel Arcucci
15/7, 15/8, 15/5 (65m)
Sherif Kamel
Jean-Michel Arcucci

11/15, 15/9, 15/8, 15/9

Saurav Ghosal

Saurav Ghosal

15/4, 15/7, 15/9 (43m)

Mohammed Essam A Hafiz

[5] Sherif Kamel (Egy)
15/9, 15/17, 15/5, 15/4 (61m)
Mohamed Elkety (Egy)
[4] Amr Mansi (Egy)
15/10, 15/9, 15/12 (43m)
[Q] B.Balamurugan (Ind)
Amr Mansi
15/12, 15/13, 15/10 (61m)
Saurav Ghosal
[6] Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
15/11, 15/4, 15/8 (34m)
Paul Johnson (Wal)
[Q] Siddharth Suchde (Ind)
15/11, 14/17, 15/11, 15/4 (51m)
[7] Mohamed Ismail (Egy)
Siddharth Suchde
17/15, 15/5, 15/9 (44m)
Ritwik Bhattacharya
Ritwik Bhattacharya

15/10, 15/9, 15/14

Mohammed Essam A Hafiz

[Q] Vikas Jangra (Ind)
15/11, 15/10, 15/8 (34m)
[3] Ritwik Bhattacharya (Ind)
Ahmed Maged Hamza (Egy)
15/8, 15/2, 15/8 (40m)
[8] Gaurav Nandrajog (Ind)
Ahmed Maged Hamza
15/6, 15/12, 15/10 (32m)
Mohammed Essam A Hafiz
Supeet Singh (Ind)
15/8, 15/11, 15/11 (32m)
[2] Mohammed Essam A Hafiz (Qat)


A Perthiban (Ind) bt Vivian Rahmanan (Ind)  9/15, 15/10, 15/9, 11/15, 15/12
B Balamurugun (Ind) bt Sandeep Jangra (Ind)  15/12, 15/12, 15/8
Vikas Jangra (Ind) bt Harinderpal Singh (Ind)  15/11, 12/15, 15/12, 15/12
Siddarthe Suchde (Ind) bt Imran Khan  15/8, 15/5, 15/5

1st round:
Imran Khan bt Naresh Kumar  15/9, 15/6, 12/15, 15/6
A. Parthiban bt Vinayak Shetty 15/10,16/17, 15/9, 15/11


23-Jul: Semi-Finals:

[6] Saurav Ghosal (Ind) bt [1] Jean-Michel Arcucci (Fra)
      11/15, 15/9, 15/8, 15/9
[2] Mohammed Hafiz (Qat) bt [3] Ritwik Bhattacharya (Ind)
      15/10, 15/9, 15/14

Ghosal reaches Chennai Final

India's top junior player Saurav Ghosal reached his second PSA tour final when he defeated top seed Jean-Michel Arcucci in Chennai.

Hopes of an all-Indian final were dashed though, as Indian number one Ritwik Bhattacharya went bowed out to second seed Mohammed Essam A Hafiz.

Ghosal, top seed for the forthcoming World Junior Championships in Pakistan, recovered from losing the first game to make his speed and fitness tell.

"I was more consistent," Ghosal told the Hindu. "After the first game, I kept up the pressure by moving him around. My boast shots were one of the keys to the victory."

"He (Saurav) played very well," said Arcucci. "He was very fast on the ball all the time. Moreover, my legs were getting a bit tired."

Bhattacharya failed to live up to the home crowd's expectations in the first two games, before narrowly losing the third as Hafiz reached his second PSA final, after his victory in Chartres in May.

22-Jul, Quarter-Finals:
Indians on the
charge in Chennai

Cyrus Poncha reports from Chennai

The Quarter final at the 2nd ICL Chennai Open saw India's top junior Saurav Ghosal and top senior player Ritwik Bhattacharya march into the semi final stage .

Saurav defeated his higher ranked opponent Amr with good lengths drops and awesome retreiving power. This is the second time Saurav has reached this stage. He made the finals at his maiden PSA event - the KL open in 2003.

Local Qualifier Siddharth Suchde kept Ritwik on court for 42min. In the first game. He lead 14-12 but was unable to close the game. He lost it 15-17.This is the first time two Indians have reached the semi final stage at a PSA event.

France's top seed Jean-Michel Arcucci played a solid basic game to unnerve Sherif Kamel and clock a convincing 3-0 victory, while second seed Mohd Essam controlled his match from start to finish to beat Egyptian Ahmed Maged Hamzah 3-0.

All in all the enthusiastic crowd were treated to an evening of delightful professional squash.

21-Jul, Round one:
Indians advance in Chennai

Cyrus Poncha reports from Chennai

The first round at the 2nd ICL Chennai Open saw some exciting matches, with three of the eight Indians in the main draw advancing to the quarter-finals.

Local qualifier Siddharth Suchde defeated Modh Islmail in 4 games. Siddharth played some excellent drops and volley drops, moving his opponent all around the court.

Other local qualifiers, A. Parthiban and Vikas fought hard, making a match of their higher ranked opponents. Indian top junior Saurav Ghosal advanced into the quarters with a strong performance over Wales' David Johnson.

Ghosal has been named top seed for the World Junior Championships in Pakistan this August.

Ritwik Bhattacharya, India's national champion meets fellow Indian Suchde in tomorrow's quarter final match.

Cyrus Poncha reports from Chennai

The Squash Rackets Federation of India in their endeavor to further promote squash in the country is continuing to host international events. For the 2nd time, the SRFI will be conducting a PSA (Professional Squash Association – Men) Super Satellite Event. The “2nd ICL Chennai Open 2004”. The event will be held at the ICL Squash Academy from 19-24 July 2004.

Having enrolled 3 professional players in 2003 (Saurav Ghosal, Gaurav Nandrajog & Supreet Singh) to the PSA circuit in addition to seasoned campaigner Ritwik Bhattacharya, India has a total of 4 professional players, all of whom will be participating in the event.

One of the main reasons for organizing this event in July is to give our World Junior Men’s squad the much desired match exposure and the opportunity to witness world class squash.

Over the last 5 years the SRFI has conducted 3 WISPA (Women’s International Squash Players Association) tournaments, a World Junior Championship, an Asian Junior Championship and in December this year will be organizing the World Doubles Championship.

The Chennai Open will be a US $ 6,000 event with a total Prize Purse of US $ 3,750. The qualification rounds will be held on the 19th and 20th of July 2004. Matches will start at 4pm daily. 8 Indian players have been given the opportunity to play the qualification event.

India’s No. 1 Ritwik Bhattacharya currently ranked No. 67 is seeded 3rd in this event and meets a qualifier in the first round. Top Indian Junior Saurav Ghosal who is preparing for the World Junior Men’s Championships in Pakistan in August this year, is scheduled to meet Paul David Johnson in the first round. Supreet Singh has been given a Wild Card for this tournament.