Celebrates Historic Tour Win In Kolkata
Mohamed El Shorbagy won the $50,000 Indian Challenger No7 at
The Calcutta Racket Club in Kolkata and became the first player in
history to secure his maiden PSA World Tour squash title at a 5-star
The event climaxed
in a surprise all-Egyptian final, between 19-year-old El Shorbagy, the third
seed from Alexandria, and Cairo-based Tarek Momen, the No7 seed – with
both players having reached Tour finals before, but each looking for his first
El Shorbagy, ranked
17 in the world, took the early lead - but 22-year-old Momen fought back to move
The youngster dug
deep, however – determined to win his first Tour trophy. El Shorbagy drew level
and, after 74 minutes, finally closed out the match against the world No26,
winning 11-7, 3-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8 to record his historic success.
The triumph marks
the latest chapter in El Shorbagy's already distinguished career, which includes
winning the world junior title twice and reaching the quarter-finals of the
World Open as a 17-year-old qualifier. The UK-based University student made
his debut in the PSA world top 20 last May and at the end of the year was
honoured with the PSA Young Player of the Year Award.
The final of the
$8,000 Women's WISPA Indian Challenger No5 not only produced a
sensational local success, but again the maiden Tour title of her career for
The No4 seed from
Chennai faced Emma Beddoes, the second seed from England.
But, boosted by her
dismissal of top seed Malaysian Sharon Wee in the previous round,
Pallikal battled determinedly for 55 minutes to overcome Beddoes 11-9, 11-8,
9-11, 11-6 and celebrate her second appearance in a WISPA Tour final with her
Shelves Saurav's Home Town Dream In Kolkata
Mohamed El Shorbagy ended the dream run of local hero Saurav Ghosal
in the semi-finals of the Men's Indian Challenger No7 to set up a
surprise all-Egyptian final of the $50,000 PSA World Tour squash event at
The Calcutta Racket Club in Kolkata.
Ghosal, the seventh
seed who was born in Kolkata, achieved a career-best win 24 hours earlier when
he ousted top seed Adrian Grant, the world No13 from England.
dominated the first game, producing winners against a tentative El Shorbagy, the
No3 seed. Ghosal, enjoying his best international ranking at 29 – the
highest-ranked Indian of all-time - looked to be at ease with his all-court game
and led the second game 7-4 against the 19-year-old.
Things turned the
other way thereafter as El Shorbagy turned to his front game and successfully
finished a series of returns to make it 7-10 before levelling the match.
Playing in his
first semi-final of a five-star PSA Tour event, Ghosal started feeling the heat
of El Shorbagy’s command on the front-court game - which came at its best in the
third game, won by the Egyptian for the loss of just three points.
The home hero, who
had a record of winning both his matches in the previous two meetings against
the Egyptian, was back in contention in the fourth game, managing an 8-4 lead.
But repeating his move in the second game, El Shorbagy showed why he is the
world No17 as he won five consecutive points to make it 9-8.
Ghosal salvaged a
match ball and earned two game balls as the game slipped into a tie-break. But
El Shorbagy held his nerve to produce successive winners to clinch the match
5-11, 11-9, 11-3, 14-12 in 58 minutes.
Now in his third
PSA Tour final, El Shorbagy will be hoping that it will be 'third time lucky' as
he bids to win his maiden Tour title.
His opponent also
produced an upset to earn his place in the climax: Tarek Momen, the No7
seed from Cairo, overcame a single game deficit to beat second-seeded Australian
Cameron Pilley 11-13, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6 in just a minute longer.
Like his fellow
countryman, Momen is also hoping to make his Tour title breakthrough after
finishing as runner-up in three previous finals.
carried Indian hopes in the $8,000 Women's WISPA Indian Challenger No5
after beating top-seeded Malaysian Sharon Wee. The 18-year-old No4 seed
from Chennai recovered from a game down to defeat Wee, ranked eight places
higher in the world, 8-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-9.
partner Joshna Chinappa was not so fortunate, crashing out of the event
11-7, 11-4, 11-8 in only 28 minutes to Emma Beddoes, the second seed from
Beddoes, the world
No34 from Nottingham, is celebrating her eighth WISPA Tour final and looking for
her fourth win – while Pallikal is marking her second final appearance, with
sights on her maiden title success.
Ghosal Rises To
The Early Challenge In Kolkata
Ghosal marked a successful return to the city of his birth when he beat Australian Aaron Frankcomb in straight games in the first
round of the Men's Indian Challenger No7, the $50,000 PSA World Tour
squash event at The Calcutta Racket Club in Kolkata.
It took the
country's 23-year-old national champion just 42 minutes to win 11-4, 11-6, 11-5
and book a berth in the quarter-finals – Frankcomb simply having no answers to
his winners and precise drop-shots.
The first game was
just a mere formality as Frankcomb was all at sea, adjusting to the pace and
bounce of the court before committing plenty of unforced errors. The world
number 43 from Hobart did put up a fight in the second game to take a 4-2 lead.
But the Australian squandered the advantage, while Ghosal lifted his game during
crucial periods to pile on the agony.
real test lies in the next round when he locks horns with top seed Adrian
Grant, the Englishman who beat fellow countryman Chris Simpson 11-7,
9-11, 11-3, 11-7 in 60 minutes.
"I need to play
much better than how I did today," explained Ghosal. "It’s important not to let
Adrian gain his rhythm. I will have to create a structure that puts Adrian out
of his comfort zone," he stressed.
Cameron Pilley eased into the last eight with an 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-6 win
over Malaysian qualifier Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan. The Australian will now
face England's sixth seed Jonathan Kemp.
There was a sole
upset in the Women's $8,000 WISPA Indian Challenger No5 when unseeded
Swiss player Gaby Schmohl defeated local hope Anwesha Reddy, the
No8 seed from Chennai, 2-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-2.
But both local
favourites Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal had easy rides in
the first round. Pallikal, the 18-year-old fourth seed from Chennai, made short
work of England’s Zephanie Curgenven, brushing her aside 11-3, 11-2,
12-10 in just 24 minutes.
Third seed Chinappa,
the reigning Indian women's national champion from Chennai, had a minor hiccup
in the second game, but went on to beat Australian Maggy Marshall 11-6,
9-11, 11-3, 11-6.