Squash Kolkata International 2011

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Kolkata International 2011
29 Mar - 03 Apr, Kolkata, India, $35k
03-Apr, final:

Karim Crowned Kolkata King

In the longest three-game match either player had ever played, world No3 Karim Darwish overcame fellow Egyptian Omar Mosaad in today's final of the Kolkata International to win the PSA World Tour International 35 squash title at the Calcutta Racket Club in the Indian city of Kolkata.

"The battle of 91 gruelling minutes for a straight games win was a reflection of how the two Egyptians fought for each and every point," said an event spokesman.

"Mosaad, currently ranked 17 in the world, had lost in the Kolkata International semi-finals two years - but was not overawed playing someone ranked 14 places above him."

Both the first two games went to tie-breaks, with Darwish coming out on top at crucial points of the games.

Frustrated by not being able to get his nose ahead of higher-ranked opponent, Mosaad buckled in the third as Darwish closed out the historic match 12-10, 12-10, 11-4.

"I am recovering from a hamstring injury and so I wanted to come here and win so that I can take a few points. It would help my ranking," explained Darwish, after the longest recorded 3/0 match on the PSA World Tour since October 2008.

The 29-year-old from Cairo is celebrating his second PSA Tour title in a row - after winning the CIMB KL Open in Malaysia last month - and the 21st of his career.

02-Apr, semis:
All Egyptian Final in Kolkata

 A Saturday evening when the city chose to stay indoors watching India play Sri Lanka in the cricket World Cup final, a host of Calcutta Racket Club regulars turned up as if bound by duty to support Saurav Ghosal who took on world No 3 Karim Darwish of Egypt in the semi-final of the Kolkata International PSA squash championship.

Not that they had come there anticipating Ghosal to script the biggest upset of his career. All they wanted to see was the boy who they saw up learning the ropes here put up a fight. Ghosal did not disappoint. And had the opening game ended up in his favour then who knows?

Ghosal matched Darwish shot for shot and after trailing 0-3 caught up with the Egyptian at 7-7. Ghosal retrieved almost every ball with amazing agility. Darwish to the delight and at the same time despair of the crowd brought to the table an array of variations and guile that justified his top billing. Tied at 9-9, a 'stroke' went against Ghosal, a decision that looked a shade harsh, and Darwish followed that up with a perfectly played drop to steal the first game.

Ghosal came back all guns blazing in the second and from 4-4 opened up a 10-4 lead. He kept the ball in play and mixed it up with a range of drops and boasts. Darwish helped Ghosal's cause with a couple of mistimed shots that hit the tin.

But a lot changed after with games level and scores tied at 2-2 in the third. Ghosal tripped on Darwish's heel and crashed into the wall bruising his knee. He did take a three-minute time-out to apply ice, but the break did not help his cause. Darwish got some time to himself to ponder and what followed was sheer class.

"I thought Ghosal likes to play in these conventional courts a lot better. I played him in Malaysia two weeks back in all glass and won it a lot easily," Darwish said after the match.

He will take on second seed Omar Mosaad in an all-Egyptian final.

Mosaad did not break a sweat demolishing compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad in just 28 minutes. The 19-year-old had no answer to Mosaad's precise cross-courts and scorching backhands. Mosaad, who lost in the semi-finals here two years back to Mansoor Zaman of Pakistan, is now in the final this time in cruise mode.

He has met Darwish twice before and will definitely take heart from the fact that he had won the last encounter, at home last year.

Press Cuts

IBN live on the Final


India Blooms

The Telegraph

The Star (Malaysia)

Kolkata International 2011
29 Mar - 03 Apr, Kolkata, India, $35k
Round One
31 Mar
01 Apr
02 Apr
03 Apr
[1] Karim Darwish (Egy)
11/5, 11/1, 11/5 (30m)
[Q] Clinton Leeuw (Rsa)
[1] Karim Darwish
11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10 (73m)
Ali Anwar Reda
[1] Karim Darwish

11-9, 5-11, 11-9, 11-4 (54m)

[4] Saurav Ghosal

[1] Karim Darwish

12-10, 12-10, 11-4 (91m)

[2] Omar Mosaad

Ali Anwar Reda (Egy)
11/9, 11/5, 11/9 (43m)
[Q] Jorge Baltazar (Mex)
[Q] Ivan Yuen (Mas)
7/11, 11/9, 11/6, 11/5 (81m)
[Q] Amr Khaled Khalifa (Egy)
[Q] Amr Khaled Khalifa
11-8, 6-2 rtd
[4] Saurav Ghosal
Bradley Hindle (Mlt)
12/10, 12/10, 11/3 (49m)
[4] Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
[3] Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
 8/11, 11/2, 11/6, 2/11, 11/7 (61m)
Andrew Wagih (Egy)
[3] Ong Beng Hee
12-14, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 (55m)
Karim Abdel Gawad
Karim Abdel Gawad

 11-6, 11-4, 11-4

[2] Omar Mosaad

Siddarth Suchde (Ind)
11/9, 5/11, 11/5, 11/7 (42m)
Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)
Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas)
11/9, 11/8, 11/13, 11/6 (78m)
Robbie Temple (Eng)
Robbie Temple
11-8, 11-6, 11-7 (37m)
[2] Omar Mosaad
Cesar Salazar (Mex)
11/9, 6/11, 11/8, 13/11 (52m)
[2] Omar Mosaad (Egy)

Wed 30th, Qualifying Finals:

Jorge Baltazar
(Mex) bt 
Harinderpal Sandhu (Ind)   11-7,7-11,11-6,11-9 (46 min)
Ivan Yuen (Mas) bt Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy)  11-5,3-11,16-14,6-11,11-6 (78 min)
Clinton Leeuw (Rsa) bt Ravi Dixit (Ind)                           11-6,15-13,11-6 (37 min)
Amr Khaled Khalifa (Egy) bt Elvinn Keo (Mas)                  11-3,11-7,11-5 (32 min)

Tue 29th, Qualifying Round One:

Jorge Baltazar (Mex) bt Ahmad Al Saraj (Jor)              12-10,8-11,13-11,11-9 (48m)
Harinderpal Sandhu (Ind) bt Rishi Tandon (Ind)                      11-7,11-5,11-7 (20m)

Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy) bt Sandeep Jangra (Ind)        8-11,11-8,11-6,11-6 (23m)
Ivan Yuen (Mas) bt Mahesh Mangoankar (Ind)                        11-6,11-8,11-9 (35m)

Clinton Leeuw (Rsa) bt Gaurav Nandrajog (Ind)                    12-10,11-3,11-6 (35m)
Ravi Dixit (Ind) bt Vrishab Kotian (Ind)                                  11-8,11-5,11-4 (26m)

Elvinn Keo (Mas) bt Vivek Dinodia (Ind)                                 11-2,11-7,11-1 (19m)
Amr Khaled Khalifa (Egy) bt Abhishek Pradhan (Ind)               11-8,11-5,11-7 (21m)

Ghosal Eases Into Kolkata Semis

Local hero Saurav Ghosal had an unexpectedly easy run through to the semi-finals of the Kolkata International after his opponent was forced to withdraw midway through their quarter-final match.

The Kolkata-born world No24 was leading qualifier Amr Khaled Khalifa 11-8, 6-2 when the reigning world junior champion conceded the match due to congestion in his chest.

It will be a fresher-than-anticipated Ghosal, the 24-year-old fourth seed, who will now face top seed Karim Darwish for a place in the final. The world No3 from Cairo was fully tested by younger compatriot Ali Anwar Reda before emerging the 11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10 victor after 73 minutes.

Ghosal will go into the match 6/0 down in his career head-to-head record against former world number one Darwish - hoping that his 'fresh' legs may give him the edge this time.

The other semi-final will be a surprise all-Egyptian contest after unseeded Karim Abdel Gawad upset Malaysia's No3 seed Ong Beng Hee 12-14, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 in just under an hour.

The Alexandria-born 19-year-old will now line up against second seed Omar Mosaad, the world No16 from Cairo who beat Englishman Robbie Temple 11-8, 11-6, 11-7.

Ghosal Canters Into Kolkata Quarters

Top-ranked Indian Saurav Ghosal led home hopes through to the quarter-finals of the Kolkata International after a straight games win over Malta's Bradley Hindle in theopening round at Calcutta Racket Club in Kolkata.

The Kolkata-born world No24 prevailed 12-10, 12-10, 11-3 in 49 minutes to set up a clash with reigning world junior champion Amr Khaled Khalifa. The 18-year-old Egyptian survived an 81-minute battle against fellow qualifier Ivan Yuen, beating the 20-year-old Malaysian 7-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5.

Top seed Karim Darwish led a quintet of Egyptians through to the last eight in Kolkata. The world No3 from Cairo despatched South African qualifier Clinton Leeuw 11-5, 11-1, 11-5 and will now face compatriot Ali Anwar Reda, the world No27 from Cairo who also overcame a qualifier when he beat Mexican Jorge Baltazar 11-9, 11-5, 11-9.

Former world number one Darwish is expected to meet a fellow countryman in Sunday's final. Second seed Omar Mosaad also put out a Mexican, defeating Cesar Salazar 11-9, 6-11, 11-8, 13-11.

Press Cuts

India Blooms

The Telegraph

The Star (Malaysia)

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