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Ghosal, Chinappa keep the flag flying

October 04, 2010 22:26 IST

Ace squash players Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa kept the tri-colour fluttering in the singles event as India wrapped up a mixed opening day at the Commonwealth Games on Monday.

Both Ghosal and Chinappa progressed to the pre-quarters of the men's and women's singles respectively, played at the Siri Fort Sports Complex, but their chances of advancing further look extremely difficult as both were pitched against higher-ranked opponents on Tuesday.

While the 24-year-old Kolkata player will play third seed Englishman Peter Barker in the last-16 round, Chennai-girl Chinappa will be up against current world number one Nicol David of Malaysia.

In the men's event, Harinder Pal Sandhu and Siddharth Suchde became the second round casualty while the women's event saw the downfall of Anwesha Reddy, Surbhi Mishra and Anaka Alankamony.

The Indian men's contingent had a good start in the morning with three players -- Ghosal, Sandhu and Suchde -- progressing into the second round. However, it was curtains for world ranked 365 Sandeep Jangra who went down fighting to 14th seed Australian Ryan Cuskelly in straight games at court no 4 in the first round.

In the evening session, Ghosal locked horns with Scotland's Lyall Paterson, who had got a bye in the first round.

It was business as usual for world ranked 26th Ghosal, who was classy in his approach and execution of shots and dead drops for winners in all three games, which he won without much resistance.

Ghosal won 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 in 26 minutes.

"It was a good practice match for me before tomorrow's tough encounter against Peter Barker, who is seeded third in the event. I have to improve my game a bit and play better tomorrow. Two matches in a day takes a toll on your body but this is Commonwealth Games and you can't afford to give these excuses," Ghosal said.

In the women's second round, India's number one Chinappa made short work of unseeded Malaysian Sharon Wee and won the clash 11-1, 11-4, 8-11, 11-4 in 28 minutes.

"I played her (Wee) before, so I knew my opponent well. I slipped up a bit in the third game but I held my nerves to emerge victorious. It was good to play an opponent ranked near you. Tomorrow is a big clash (against Nicol david) and I am feeling much stronger and fitter tha ever before," Chinappa said.

Her compatriots -- Reddy, Mishra and Alankamony – failed to rise to the occasion and went down fighting to their respective opponents.

Reddy lost 3-11, 6-11, 7-11 to 16th seed Canada's Alana Miller while Mishra went down fighting to Stephanie Edmison of Canada 2-11, 7-11, 10-12 in 18 minutes.

Alankamony lost 7-11, 4-11, 3-11 to 10th seed Sarah Kippax of England.

In the other men's encounter, world ranked 71st Suchde gave a glimpse of his fighting abilities, raising a scare for world ranked 15th Australian Cameron Pillay.

Though the Indian lost 8-11, 11-9, 6-11, 7-11 in 53 minutes, it was a match where the famed Australian admitted that he more than once lost his way against the never-say-die effort of Suchde.

"I would have liked to win this game playing in front of the home crowd. But it was just a matter of experience, as Pillay had featured in couple of Commonwealth Games and this one was my first. So, obviously pressure was on me. I hope to do better in the doubles category," Suchde said after his match.

World ranked 110th Harinder failed to display his famed dead drop winners in the evening session and was reduced to a mere spectator by another Australian Stewart Boswell.

The Indian lost 4-11, 7-11, 5-11 to eighth seed opponent in

26 minutes at court No 5.

Meanwhile, in the first game of the day, Suchde registered a facile 11-6 11-5 11-4 victory over his unseeded opponent Michael Hopkins of Jersey in just 18 minutes.

In the second match, Jangra lost 7-11, 9-11, 4-11 in 31 minutes to Ryan Cuskelly of Australia.

The third match saw India's number one Ghosal taking on the unseeded Ugandian Ian Rukunya.

Ghosal ran away with the first game (11-1) in just seven minutes, reducing the unseeded opponent to a mere spectator.

Next two games were also no better than other as 11th seed Kolkata player showcased his famed speed work to win 11-1, 11-4, 11-0 in 18 minutes. The Indian maintained his focus to the optimum throughout the match and scored a deserving straight games win.

The last Indian match of the morning session saw Sandhu taking on Bangladesh's unseeded rival Shopon Pervez. Sandhu won 11-3, 11-1, 11-2 in 14 minutes.

All other top seed men's players including second seed Nick Matthew, Peter Barker, Azlan Iskandar, Daryl Selby and women racqueters Nicol David Kasey Brown, Donna Urquhart and Alison Waters also advanced to the pre-quarters, winning their respective matches.

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