COMFORTS HELP SAURAV TO SOAR
11 POINTS WITH SAURAV
By ALAN THATCHER
number one Saurav Ghosal is always a popular visitor to Canary
Wharf. Two years ago he took James Willstrop to five and this
year he faces No.3 seed Peter Barker in the first round, so it
promises to be a fantastic match. Now ranked 18 in the world,
Saurav is enjoying the home comforts of life in Calcutta after
moving back home to India after several years based in
1: I read somewhere that you decided to leave Pontefract
and move back to India. What prompted that decision, and what
are the main benefits of being back home?
I moved back to India in July last year. The decision to move
back was non-squash related. In terms of the benefits of being
back home, things are a lot more comfortable. All I need to do
is focus on my squash. I don't have to worry about daily chores
like cooking, washing up or laundry! I live with my grandparents
and it's great. I feel like I'm playing some good squash as
well, so it's great all round.
2: What is your current base for training?
I currently live and train in my hometown, Calcutta. However, I
tend to come back to England for 1 week a month to train with
Malcolm Willstrop. I don't have too many good players to train
with in Calcutta. So, it's great that I can come back to
Pontefract as frequently as I do.
3: Who is your main coach? And please tell us about your
Malcolm Willstrop is still my main coach, even though I don't
live in Leeds anymore. We keep in touch when I'm away and he
brings me back down to earth when I come to Pontefract! In
Calcutta, I generally train with one of the national junior
players (Krish Kapur) and the pro at my club (Dalip Tripathi).
In the summer, Ramit Tandon will be back in Calcutta, who is a
great training partner.
The rest of the world would love to see more tournaments in
India on a regular basis. Is this likely, do you think?
I would love to see more tournaments in India. I think we have a
very good bunch of players right now and it would be great if
the corporates in India would sponsor events and support our
growth as a top squash nation. I know Ritwik Bhattacharya (PSA
Regional Rep) is doing a lot to get some events off the ground.
I really hope things take off soon as it would help me and all
the other players a great deal!
5: What are you looking forward to most about returning to
In my opinion, the Canary Wharf Classic is one of the best
tournaments on the PSA calendar. It's a shame that it's not a
World Series event because it certainly ticks all the right
boxes. I love the vibe and atmosphere at the East Wintergarden
Arena and it's always a pleasure to play there.
6: You gave James Willstrop (your former training partner)
a real scare a couple of years ago. This time you have drawn
Peter Barker in the first round. You must be hoping for a big
performance and a big result.
My match with James a couple of years was pretty good, although I would
loved to have won! I go into every match wanting to win, and
playing Peter Barker will be no different. He is a solid player
who has been in the top 10 for a long time now, and so he's
definitely proved his pedigree. However, I'm playing well too
and it should make for a good match!
7: How many Twitter followers do you have now? And what's
the funniest thing you've seen on there in recent weeks?
I have around 2000 Twitter followers. The funniest thing I've
seen lately, is this picture of an African kid talking to a
Western lady and saying "so you are telling me, people drive to
the gym to walk on the treadmill?"
Who are your main sponsors?
My main sponsors are Veedol Lubricants and Prince. I'm extremely
thankful for their support over the years as they have been
9: Are you bored or excited by the travelling on the World
The PSA World Tour is exciting because of the different places I
see and the lovely people that I meet. The boring part is the
flights and waiting around at airports!
10: What's your favourite squash tournament, and why?
A: Until about a few years ago, it was the PSA Masters in India.
Reasons for that are pretty obvious. Playing in front of my home
crowd is the best feeling ever! Other than that, the Tournament
of Champions is great to play in. The Canary Wharf Classic would
be up there, too!
11: Any special plans for this trip back to the UK, apart
from the squash?
No other plans. I'm totally focussed on my squash right now!
Thanks Saurav, looking forward to seeing you in action