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Kolkata International 2005
Kolkata, India, 06-12 Sep, $20k
10-Sep, Final:

[1] Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt [3] Shahier Razik (CAN)
       11/6, 11/7, 11/3
 
"Azlan was too quick at the front. I got no breather, which I desperately needed as my legs were stiff."

Shahier Razik
 
"I was lucky. All those I faced from the quarter final stage seemed tired after playing tough games a day earlier.

"Today, I took the lead in the initial stages of each game, and this enabled me to try different things. But whenever Razik closed in I returned to my tactical game." 

Azlan Iskandar
Azlan Takes Kolkata Title

Malaysia's top seed Azlan Iskandar claimed his second PSA title in just three weeks with a fluent straight-games victory over Shahier Razik at the Calcutta Rackets Club, winning the tournament without dropping a game.

Iskandar's rich array of strokes and fleet-footed coverage of the court was too much for Razik, the third seed from Canada, who appeared to be suffering from his exertions in a marathon semi-final against second seed Cameron Pilley.

Iskandar collected $3068 for his week's work, while Razik took home $2099.

09-Sep, Semi-Finals:

[1] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt [Q] Khayal Muhammad Khan (PAK) 11-4, 11-7, 11-0 (24m)

[3] Shahier Razik (CAN) bt [2] Cameron Pilley (AUS) 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8 (90m)

"Its great to play here at Calcutta. A few things which I learnt myself (I knew it was an old club but not that old) was that the Calcutta squash rackets club is 212 years old.

"Yeah that's right, was founded in 1793 and is probably one of the oldest squash clubs (only squash and no other sport).

"The whole of Calcutta is abuzz with the event and all the squash lovers are looking forward to some world class squash."

Ritwik Bhattacharya
 

 
"The championship will have some of the biggest names from the world of squash.

"While Saurav who is currently the world No 79 and a wild card in the mains, the other Indian who is expected to reach the mains from the qualifiers is Ritwik Bhattacharya who is ranked world no 61.

''Saurav was given a wild card because he is a local boy and besides he is the current national champion."

Dalip Tripathy
Tournament spokesman and referee, talking to newKerala.com



Azlan Cruises,
Razik takes his time


In contrasting matches in Kolkata, top seed Azlan Iskandar raced past surprise semi-finalist Khayal Muhammad in 24 minutes, while Shahier Razik outlasted second seed Cameron Pilley in a 90-minute marathon.

Canadian Razik, who lost to Pilley in their two PSA meetings over the past twelve months, was determined to prevent an Australian hat-trick. But Pilley led 7-0 in the fifth game and looked comfortably poised to win.

However, the 22-year-old from Queensland suddenly started cramping and found the going difficult as Razik moved him around the court. After losing serve just once at 4-7, Razik did not look back, ultimately winning 11-8 9-11 11-8 5-11 11-8.
   
08-Sep, Quarters:

[1] Azlan Iskandar (Mas) bt [Q] Basit Ashfaq (Pak)
      11/3, 11/2, 11/5 (23m)
[Q4] Khayal Muhammad Khan (Pak) bt [Q] Ritwik Bhattacharya (Ind)
      10/11(0-2), 11/7, 11/9, 11/8 (64m)
[3] Shahier Razik (Can) bt [6] Alister Walker (Eng)
      11/9, 11/5, 9/11, 11/2 (55m)
[2] Cameron Pilley (Aus) bt Stacey Ross (Eng)
      11/5, 11/5, 8/11, 11/10(2-0) (59m) 
Quarters:
Ritwik goes down
fighting in Kolkata


Home interest was ended in Kolkata as Pakistan's Khayal Muhammad Khan won the battle of the qualifiers against Indian number one Ritwik Bhattacharya.

At times it looked more like a WWF match, according to local reports, with both players blocking and arguing not only with the referee but also between themselves.

There was a point where the referee had to go down on court in the fourth game and warn both the players.

Ritwik looked to be under tremendous pressure from the word go, but the only difference between the two in the end was that Ritwik made more unforced errors than Khayal.

No sweat for top three

Top seeded Azlan Iskandar sailed through to the semi finals.

19-year-old Pakistani qualifier Basit Ashfaq looked as though he hadn't recovered from the previous day, and went down rather tamely, the match lasting just 23 minutes.

By contrast, third seed Shahier Razik looked like he was in no hurry to finish his match.

It was more a game of patience as Razik picked up everything that was thrown at him by English youngster Alister Walker.

Walker looked frustrated and made errors trying to finish the rallies, and at the end there was nothing left in Walker's tank as Razik won the battle of survival of the fittest.

In the last match of the day, Australia's second seed Cameron Pilley played at a pace that Stacey Ross found a little too fast for his liking.

Pilley controlled the game from the very first point and despite dropping the third game stormed his way into the semi-finals.
Kolkata Open 2005
Kolkata, India, 06-12 Sep, $20k
Round One
Sep 07
Quarters
Sep 08
Semis
Sep 09
Final
Sep 10
[1] Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3 (42m)
Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
Azlan Iskandar
11/3, 11/2, 11/5 (23m)
Basit Ashfaq
Azlan
Iskandar

11-4, 11-7, 11-0 (24m)

Khayal Mohammed
Azlan
Iskandar


 

Shahier
Razik

[7] Gavin Jones (Wal)
11-4, 2-11, 11-7, 11-10(2-0) (52m)
[Q] Basit Ashfaq (Pak)
[4] Mohammed Essam A Hafiz (Egy)
11-9, 8-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-8 (57m)
[Q] Ritwik Bhattacharya (Ind)
Ritwik Bhattacharya
10/11(0-2), 11/7, 11/9, 11/8 (64m)
Khayal Mohammed
[5] Ben Garner (Eng)
11-10(2-0), 8-11, 11-7, 11-8 (50m)
[Q] Khayal Mohammed (Pak)
Yasir Butt (Pak)
8-11, 11-1, 11-6, 7-11, 11-10(2-0) (64m)
[6] Alister Walker (Eng)
Alister Walker
11/9, 11/5, 9/11, 11/2 (55m)
Shahier Razik
Shahier
Razik

11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8 (90m)

Cameron
Pilley

[Q] Cameron White (Aus)
11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-0 (46m)
[3] Shahier Razik (Can)
Stacey Ross (Eng)
11-8, 11-7, 11-4 (36m)
[8] Philip Barker (Eng)
Stacey Ross
11/5, 11/5, 8/11, 11/10(2-0) (59m) 
Cameron Pilley
Arshad Iqbal Burki (Pak)
11-6, 11-4, 11-10(4-2) (21m)
[2] Cameron Pilley (Aus)

Qualifying Finals (06-Sep):
Ritwik Bhattacharya (IND) bt Supreet Singh (IND)         11-7, 11-2, 11-3 (18m)
Basit Ashfaq (PAK) bt Lee Drew (ENG)                          7-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-1 (49m)
Cameron White (AUS) bt Tony James (AUS)                  9-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-6 (40m)
Khayal Muhammad Khan (PAK) bt Chris Gordon (USA)   11-8, 11-8, 11-8 (50m)

First Round (05-Sep):
Ritwik Bhattacharya (IND) bye
Supreet Singh (IND) bt Nasser B Al-Ramzi (KUW)       9-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-10(2-0), 11-8 (68m)
Lee Drew (ENG) bye
Basit Ashfaq (PAK) bt Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND)         11-4, 11-4, 11-1 (20m)
Tony James (AUS) bt Ramit Tandon (IND)                   11-4, 11-8, 11-2 (18m)
Cameron White (AUS) bt Gaurav Nandrajog (IND)       11-8, 11-6, 11-3 (46m)
Christopher Gordon (USA) bt Parthiban Ayappan (IND) 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (34m)
Khayal Muhammad Khan (PAK) bye
 

Round One:
Ritwik leads the
upsets in Kolkata


Four seeds fell in today's  opening day of action in the Kolkata International at the Calcutta Racket Club with local hero Ritwik Bhattacharya, a qualifier, claiming the biggest upset to become the only Indian through to the quarter-finals of the new PSA Tour event in the former Indian capital.

The 25-year-old from New Delhi fought back from 1/2 down to despatch fourth seed Mohamed Essam A Hafiz, from Egypt, 11-9 8-11 9-11 11-3 11-8 in 57 minutes, maintaining his unbeaten record in the city, and now meets another qualifier Khayal Muhammad Khan for an unlikely place in the last four.

Khan beat England's fifth seed Ben Garner 11-10 8-11 11-7 11-8 in 50 minutes.

There was also a surprise English success in the bottom half of the draw when unseeded Stacey Ross, from Surrey, overcame eighth seed Phillip Barker 11-8 11-7 11-4 in 36 minutes to set up a quarter-final meeting with Australia's second seed Cameron Pilley.

Qualifying Finals:
Ritwik races into Kolkata draw


The first match of the day was a one sided affair with Ritwik Bhattacharya beating Supreet Singh 3-0 in 18 minutes. Ritwik had the skill to send Supreet running from corner to corner and finished the ball with immaculate precision.

Bhattacharya's record of never having lost in Calcutta is likely to face a stern test in the main draw.

Basit outlasts Drew

The second match was the most interesting of the day, between Lee Drew and Basit Ashfaq. The first game was evenly matched and went neck and neck till 6-all. Basit made two unforced errors which saw him trail 6-8 and was unable to make up the deficit and lost the game 11-7.

Basit picked up his game in the second and ran of to a quick 7-1 lead and without much resistance won the game 11-6. The third game was an absolute cliff hanger and the longest game of the match (12mins).

There was nothing to separate the two players - Lee was the first to reach game ball and was leading 10-7 when Basit, with some tight lengths, forced Lee into errors and came up to 9 before Lee finished the game.

Tiring Lee couldn't do much in the next two games and without much of a fight lost both in a matter of 15 minutes.

The Tony James and Cameron White match was an all Australian affair between two sparring partners. White looked a little tired in the fourth with the game evenly poised at 6-all, but he suddenly went into overdrive and finished the game without losing another point.

The last match between Christopher Gordon and Khayal Mohammed turned out to be a little rough with both players barging into each other and appealing at the end of every rally. Gordon looked frustrated and was running out of ideas, Khayal winning the bout in 50 hard fought minutes.

05-Sep, Qualifying day one:
Indians bow out in Kolkata Qualifying

Five Indians took part in the first qualifying round of the Kolkata International at the Calcutta Racket Club, with four meeting defeat and Supreet Singh earning a place in the qualifying finals against ... Indian number one Ritwik Bhattacharya!

 

  
Kolkata hosts top
Indian Tourney


The richest recent PSA event to be held in India, the Kolkata International takes place at the 212-year-old Calcutta Racket Club from 7th to 10th September.

India's top junior Saurav Ghosal receives a wild-card into the event, where he is drawn against top seed Azlan Iskandar of Malaysia, while the hosts' top senior Ritwik Bhattacharya is top seed for the qualifying competition.

The Calcutta Racket Club which is hosting the event has seven courts, including two glass courts with a gallery accommodating some 400 spectators.

 

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