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Indian Challenger #7 2010
12-17 Apr, Kolkata, $50k

17-Apr, Semis:
Shorbagy opens account with a
five star ... Dipika's first too ...

Egyptian teenager Mohamed El Shorbagy won the $50,000 Indian Challenger No7 at The Calcutta Racket Club in Kolkata today – and became the first player in history to secure his maiden PSA World Tour squash title at a 5-star event.

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 title success.

El Shorbagy, ranked 17 in the world, took the early lead - but 22-year-old Momen fought back to move two-games-to-one ahead.

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 Dipika Pallikal.

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 maiden win.

Indian Challenger #7 2010
12-17 Apr, Kolkata, $50k
Round One
14 Apr, 16.00-19.00
15 Apr
16 Apr
17 Apr
[1] Adrian Grant (Eng)
11-7 9-11 11-3 11-7 (60')
[Q] Chris Simpson (Eng)
[1] Adrian Grant
8-11 15-13 11-5 11-7 (87m)
[8] Saurav Ghosal
[8] Saurav Ghosal

5-11 11-9 11-3 14-12(58m)

[3] Mohamed El Shorbagy

[3] Mohamed El Shorbagy

11-7 3-11 8-11 11-8 11-8 (74m)

[7] Tarek Momen

[8] Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
11-4 11-6 11-5 (42')
Aaron Frankcomb (Aus)
[3] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy)
11-2 11-9 11-7
Renan Lavigne (Fra)
[3] Mohamed El Shorbagy
11-6 6-11 11-6 9-11 11-9(64m)
[5] Ong Beng Hee
[5] Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
11-5 11-8 6-11 11-9 (59')
[Q] Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas)
[Q] Max Lee (Hkg)
11-9 11-7 8-11 11-8 (48')
[7] Tarek Momen (Egy)
[7] Tarek Momen
11-7 11-9 11-6(33m)
[4] Azlan Iskandar
[7] Tarek Momen

11-13 11-9 11-6 11-6(59m)

[2] Cameron Pilley

Siddarth Suchde (Ind)
11-5 11-6 11-5 (42')
[4] Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
Julian Illingworth (Usa)
11-5 11-6 11-7
[6] Jonathan Kemp (Eng)
[6] Jonathan Kemp
12-10 11-9 11-6(50m)
[2] Cameron Pilley
[Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)
11-6 7-11 11-8 11-6 (59')
[2] Cameron Pilley (Aus)

Indian Challenger #5 2010
12-17 Apr, Kolkata, $8k
Round One
14 Apr
15 Apr
16 Apr
17 Apr
[1] Sharon Wee (Mas)
12-10 11-1 11-6 (23')
Nada Elkalaawy (Egy)
[1] Sharon Wee
11-5 11-4 11-7(20m)
[7] Aparajitha Balamurakan
[1] Sharon Wee

8-11 12-10 11-6 11-9 (39m)

[4] Dipika Pallikal

[4] Dipika Pallikal

11-9 11-8 9-11 11-6 (55m)

[2] Emma Beddoes

[7] Aparajitha Balamurakan (Ind)
11-2 14-12 11-4 (15')
Harshit Kawaur Jawanda (Ind)
[4] Dipika Pallikal (Ind)
11-3 11-2 12-10 (24')
Zephanie Curgeven (Eng)
[4] Dipika Pallikal
11-5 11-2 11-2(19m)
[5] Anaka Alankamony
[5] Anaka Alankamony (Ind)
8-11 14-16 11-6 11-7 11-3 (38')
Surbhi Misra (Ind)
Gaby Schmol (Sui)
2-11 11-4 11-7 11-2 (27')
[8] Anwesha Reddy (Ind)
Gaby Schmol
11-8 11-13 11-5 11-9(48m)
[3] Joshna Chinappa
[3] Joshna Chinappa

11-7 11-4 11-8(28m)

[2] Emma Beddoes

Maggy Marshall (Aus)
11-6 9-11 11-3 11-6 (36')
[3] Joshna Chinappa (Ind)
Catalina Pelaez (Col)
8-11 11-8 11-3 11-7 (37')
[6] Milou Vad Der Heijden (Ned)
[6] Milou Vad Der Heijden
11-1 11-5 11-2(25m)
[2] Emma Beddoes
Ankita Sharma (Ind)
11-2 11-7 11-6 (20')
[2] Emma Beddoes (Eng)

16-Apr, Semiss:
Dipika the last Indian survivor in Kolkata

Saurav Ghosal failed to build on a bright start and went down fighting against third seeded Mohamed El Shorbagy of Egypt in the semifinals of the five-star PSA Indian Challenger here at the Calcutta Racket Club on Friday. The final on Saturday will be an all-Egyptian affair as Tarek Momen produced a mini upset beating second seeded Cameron Pilley of Australia in the other semifinal.

Dipika Pallikal carried Indian hopes in the concurrently played WISPA event beating top seeded Sharon Wee of Malaysia. Dipika’s doubles partner Joshna Chinappa was not so fortunate as she erred her way out of the tournament against second seeded Emma Beddoes of England.

Picking up from his brilliant quarterfinal win against top seed and world No. 13 Adrian Grant of England on Thursday, Saurav dominated the first game producing winners against a tentative Shorbagy. The Indian, enjoying his best international ranking at 29, looked to be at ease with his all court game and led the second game 7-4 against the 19-year-old Egyptian. Things turned the other way hereafter as Shorbagy turned to his front game and successfully finished a series of returns to make it 7-10 and levelled the game scores 1-1.

Playing his first semifinal of a five-star event Saurav started feeling the heat of Shorbagy’s command on the front-court game, which came at its best in the third game that the latter won 11-3. The Indian, 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 at one stage. But similar to the happening in the second game Shorbagy showed why he is the world No. 17 as he won five consecutive points to make it 9-8. Saurav salvaged a match point and earned two game points as the game slipped into tie-breakers. But Shorbagy held on produced successive winners to win the game 14-12 and the match.

15-Apr, Quarters:
Indians progress to Kolkata semis

Indian National Champion Saurav Ghosal delighted the crowds in Kolkata as he ousted top seed Adrian Grant in the quarter-finals. Trailing 5-8, Ghosal unleashed precise winners to equalise, before losing the plot with a couple of unforced errors. The game appeared to be heading towards Grant’s way as the world number 13 raced off to lead 8-4 in the second set. But Ghosal was in no mood to give up and banking on some elementary errors from Grant, together with his own barrage of winners, gained the upper hand to take a 9-8 lead.

However, things were far from being over due to Grant’s persistence as Ghosal leveled the proceedings and win it 15-13 only after as many as five set points.

Thereafter, it was sheer dominance on the part of the homeboy with his delicate slices and drop-shots. Ghosal, in other words, sealed his opponent’s fate with a clinical show in the third, while Grant looked drained out after the intriguing second set that lasted for 28 minutes.

He made one last effort for a comeback in the fourth and penultimate set, winning three points in a row while trailing 4-8. It was all too late by then, as Ghosal did not lose composure and kept his nerves to complete the formalities.

In another quarterfinal, fourth-seed Tarek Momen of Egypt took only 33 minutes to outclass Malaysian rival Azlan Iskandar 11-7, 11-9, 11-6.

On the other hand, Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal notched up convincing wins in the WISPA section to move into the semifinals. Although Joshna lost her way in the second set (conceding it 11-13) after winning the first 11-8, she made short work of her Swiss opponent Gaby Schmohl wrapping the next two 11-5 and 11-9. Dipika, however, had no trouble at all to get past compatriot Anaka Alankamony 11-5, 11-2, 11-3.

Seeds through to Kolkata Quarters

Saurav Ghosal began his PSA Indian Challenger campaign in style, walloping Aaron Frankcomb of Australia 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 at the Calcutta Racket Club on Wednesday. It took the national champion just 42 minutes to book a quarterfinal berth, as Ghosal’s opponent simply had no answers to his winners and precise drop-shots.

The first set 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 did put up a fight in the second set to take a 4-2 lead. But losing his temper over certain decisions of the referee together with his errors, Frankcomb squandered the advantage, while Ghosal lifted his game during crucial junctures to pile on the Aussie’s agony.

However, Ghosal’s real test lies on Thursday when he locks horns with top-seed Adrian Grant. “I need to play much better than how I did today. 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.

Grant, on the other hand, did face a few difficulties on his way to a 11-7, 9-11, 11-3, 11-7 win over qualifier Chris Simpson. In fact, his compatriot made him stretch for almost all points before bowing down finally to Grant’s class and experience.

In other matches, second-seed Cameron Pilley of Australia got through qualifier Nafiizwan Adnan 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-6, while Malaysian Azlan Iskandar ousted Siddharth Suchde 11-5, 11-6, 11-5.

In the WISPA section, both Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal had easy rides in the first round. Fourth-seed Dipika made short work of England’s Zephanie Curgenven, brushing her aside 11-3, 11-2, 12-10 in just 24 minutes. Joshna had a minor hiccup in the second set, but eventually beat Australian Maggy Marshall 11-6, 9-11, 11-3, 11-6.

Azan Survives Marathon
To Make Indian Challenger Draw

Muhd Asyraf Azan survived the third-longest PSA World Tour match this millennium when he beat fellow Malaysian Ivan Yuen in 143 minutes to earn a place in the main draw of the $50,000 Indian Challenger No7 at The Calcutta Racket Club in Kolkata.

The 21-year-old world No68 from Kuala Lumpur battled through two tie-break games in the qualifying final to beat his fellow countryman 11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 5-11, 12-10.

Azan's reward is a first round clash with his home nation's most famous male squash player Ong Beng Hee, the fifth seed.

Remarkably, all four final qualifying matches lasted more than an hour - with Englishman Chris Simpson's five-game win over Hong Kong's Dick Lau the shortest of these, at 65 minutes!

Simpson is drawn to face top seed and compatriot Adrian Grant, the world No13 from London who is looking to repeat the success he achieved last time at the Calcutta Racket Club where he won the Indian Challenger No2 just over a year ago.

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