Grant Rises To The Indian Challenge
England's Adrian Grant
claimed one of the biggest squash titles of his career when he beat Egyptian
Hisham Mohd Ashour in the final of the PSA Indian Challenger No2 in
It was a dramatic climax
to the $30,000 3-star PSA Tour event at The Calcutta Racket Club
which was supported by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
Both players had reached
the final unexpectedly - third seed Grant overcoming second-seeded Malaysian
Mohd Azlan Iskandar in the semi-finals and Hisham Mohd Ashour, the No4 seed,
upsetting favourite Ong Beng Hee, also from Malaysia.
But left-hander Grant, the
world No13 from London, was too strong for his opponent in the final - beating
world No29 Ashour 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 in 40 minutes.
Ashour, suffering with leg
injury, led in all three games - but Grant was in no mood allow his opponent's
ailment to affect his bid for victory.
"I could make out that he
was not fully fit, so I just kept returning while he made the mistakes," said
the 29-year-old England international afterwards.
"The win is quite
reassuring, especially after having lost three finals so closely in the season,"
added Grant - runner-up this year not only in the British National Championships
last month, but also in Tour events in Detroit and Kuala Lumpur.
The triumph takes Grant's
career title tally to 16 - now making the Londoner the current Englishman with
the most Tour titles, and second only in all-time to Peter Nicol, the
former world number one from England who retired after collecting a total of 49
PSA Tour titles.
Top-Seeded Malaysians Conquered In Kolkata
The top two seeds Ong
Beng Hee and Mohd Azlan Iskandar crashed out of the PSA Indian
Challenger No2 as third seed Adrian Grant and fourth seed Hisham
Mohd Ashour secured surprise places in the final of the $30,000 3-star
PSA Tour squash event at The Calcutta Racket Club in Kolkata,
Malaysian favourite Ong
Beng Hee led by two games and had a pair of match-balls in the third against
Egyptian Hisham Mohd Ashour. But the 26-year-old world No29 from Cairo kept his
focus to record a sensational 6-11, 5-11, 12-10, 11-2, 12-10 upset after 58
The win takes Ashour into
his sixth Tour final - where he will face England left-hander Adrian Grant, the
world No13 from London.
Grant overcame a first
game deficit to defeat second seed Iskandar, also from Malaysia, 11-13, 11-4,
11-5, 11-5 in 75 minutes. The result brings to an end a four match winning
sequence by the Malaysian over the Londoner.
Grant is celebrating his
23rd Tour final appearance - and his third this year.
Stretches Ong Beng Hee In Kolkata Challenger
seed Ong Beng Hee was taken the full distance in the
quarter-finals of the PSA Indian Challenger No2 before beating local hero
Saurav Ghosal in a 73-minute marathon in the $30,000 3-star PSA Tour
squash event at The Calcutta Racket Club in Kolkata, India.
Kolkata-born sixth seed twice led Beng Hee - and took the world No11, ranked 23
places higher, to a tie-break in the fourth game before the favourite finally
emerged victorious, winning 3-11, 11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 11-6.
Beng Hee, who like Ghosal is UK-based, will now face Hisham Mohd Ashour
after the fourth seed beat fellow Egyptian Mohammed Abbas 11-5, 11-3,
11-8 in just 28 minutes.
other semi-final will also feature Malaysian interest after second seed Mohd
Azlan Iskandar played just a game and a half before Australian opponent
Aaron Frankcomb retired injured, with the score standing at 11-6, 6-1.
Iskandar will meet third seed Adrian Grant, who recovered from a game down to
beat Egypt's No8 seed Amr Swelim 3-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4.
Saurav Saunters Into Kolkata Quarters
single-handedly took local interest into the quarter-finals of the PSA Indian
Challenger No2 after a confident straight games win over compatriot
Naresh Kumar in the first round of the $30,000 3-star PSA Tour squash
event at The Calcutta Racket Club in Kolkata, India.
Sixth seed Ghosal
withstood a strong challenge by his younger unseeded opponent who had received a
wildcard entry. Kumar, 20, from Chennai, had a game ball in the second game –
but Ghosal salvaged the point and went on to win the game. Kumar was visibly
drained by his efforts and lost the third game without winning a further point.
The 11-8, 13-11, 11-0
victory takes Ghosal up against top seed Ong Beng Hee. The Malaysian,
ranked 11 in the world, beat France's Stephane Galifi 12-10, 9-11, 11-6,
India's other hope
Ritwik Bhattacharya began well but lost steam as his seeded opponent
Mohammed Abbas, of Egypt, stepped up his game in the later stages of the
match. The 29-year-old from Mumbai looked fit and fresh as he raced to win the
first game, raising hopes of an upset.
But Bhattacharya began
committing unforced errors at crucial points – and fifth seed Abbas took full
advantage to pull off a 7-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-5 victory.
"Minor errors cost you the
game when you are against an opponent of Abbas’ calibre," said world No60
Bhattacharya after the match. "I was feeling fine physically and moving around
the court well. But I made too many errors in the rush to get winners."