News & Highlights
Asian Senior Squash Championship - Team Event
It was mixed luck for India in the semi finals of the Team events with the hosts women making the final with a facile 2-0 win over Korea, while Indian men played their hearts out before going down gallantly to defending champions, Malaysia 1-2 in the respective semi finals in the team events of the 15th Asian Senior Squash championship here this evening.

In the other semi final, Hong Kong women dashed the hopes of world number one Nicol David led defending champions Malaysia by a 2-1 margin, while Malaysian men awaits winner of match between last year finalists, Pakistan beat Kuwait 2-0 and play Malaysia .
With their morale high having defeated Hong Kong women in the league phase yesterday, it remains to be seen whether India can repeat their winning effort tomorrow in the final.

In today¡¯s women semi final, Anaka Alankamony beat Kim Ga Hye 11-8, 11-3, 11-8 (20minutes) and Joshna Chinappa scored an easy win over Song Sun Mi at 11-2, 11-4, 11-8 (22min). This is the second time in history that Indian women are making the final after having lost their first appearance in 2002 to Malaysia. With their morale high having defeated Hong Kong in the league phase yesterday, it remains to be seen whether India can repeat their winning effort tomorrow in the final.

In the men¡¯s semi final, India¡¯s Harinder Singh Pal Sandhu went down fighting to Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan 10-12, 9-11, 11-13 but Saurav Ghosal carried variety of shots in his armour to dispose off reigning Asian individual champion and top seeded Mohd Azlan Iskander of Malaysia 2-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-4 to give the required advantage for the hosts to make a memorable entry in to the final. However, Malaysia Number two and second seeded Ong Ben Hee got the better of Siddharth Suchde 11-6, 8-11, 14-12, 4-11, 11-2 in a marathon 75 minutes duel in the deciding tie.

The highlight of the semi final matches today was India Number One, Saurav Ghosal, world ranked 27, coming from behind to create the major upset of the championship in scalping top seed Mohd Azlan Iskander, who is ranked 18 in PSA, strongest player in the region. Perhaps, this was Ghosal's career best win possibly at home. Ghosal was unbelievably brilliant in his aggressive methods after losing the first game, which the Malaysian led at 8-0 before winning it at 11-2.

The transformation displayed by Ghosal in the next three games proved his uptrend in the world circuit and his performance should augur well in the ensuing Commonwealth Games in Delhi this October.

Ghosal was not only in tremendous form in the reminder of the match but also maintained his supremacy with an all court attack, often coming up with dazzling straight drives and superb drops after keeping the ball in play in rallies against an experienced and highly rated star. With today's win, Ghosal created ripples in the Malaysian ranks and in the Asian region with his clinical and deserving victory. On the whole, the performance of Indian men was of highest standard.

In women semi final today, India fielded its junior star, Anaka Alankamony in the first match against Korea¡¯s third seed, Kim Ga Hye and the Indian required just 20 minutes to wrap up a deserving win to give the required thrust for her senior mate, Joshna Chinappa to do the rest in the second match. Anaka, despite her patchy performance in between played superbly with some delectable drops and eye catching long balls to score winners.
In the second match, Joshna stream-rolled her rival Song Sun Mi with superior display in the first two games but the Korean top seed showed some semblance of a fight in the third. However, Joshan seemed to be complacent and committed lot of unforced errors frequently and her first two games dominance was curtailed. However, Joshna true to her standing as ranked 31 in the world moved from 4-3 to 8-3 and the closest that Song Sun Mi could catch the Indian was 8-7.

In the second semi finals, Nicol in her usual inimitable style and was business like in her 11-3, 11-8, 11-5 win in just 20 minutes against Hong Kong¡¯s Rebacca Chiu but in the next two games, Hong Kong players Joey Chan and Annie Au turned the tables on the favourites to take sweet revenge for their earlier losses in the title matches in the championship for the last over six years.

Joey played remarkably well to get back her rhythm after losing the close first game to Low Wee Wern but made amends in the next three. Ratio of least unforced errors by Joey Chan compared to Wern helped her maintain her lead in all the games. The fourth game turned to be well fought out by the rivals and like the earlier games, it also went neck to neck initially but Joey Chan wriggled out of tight situations to increase the margin to 8-3. Wern tried her best to retrieve her position but could manage to come 5-9 before Joey Chan went on to take the next two points and the match at 8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 in 50 minutes.

There was greater pressure on Delia Arnold trailed 0-2 but managed to win the third game. But Annie Au rose to a 4-0 lead in the fourth game. Here, Delia was much more controlled in her shots and a forehand close to the front wall and a drop from back court and two errors by Annie Au helped Malaysian level the score. At 6-4, Annie Au, a south paw, who underwent medical attention on her right wrist, steadied her game so well and Delia was totally under pressure and made hash of her chances in clanging the tin to yield points. Annie Au won at 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7 in 60 minutes.