top of page


Nathan Lake (ENG) gave Saurav Ghosal (IND) a bit of trouble in the first game. But by the second, the second-seed had Lake's measure and put the pressure on with his signature speed. From there, Ghosal owned the match, taking it 11-9, 11-3, 11-5 in 47 minutes."I've not played him ever before," Ghosal said.
"I had a little bit of trouble to see what his game was all about. He played some really good stuff at the beginning of the match. After the first game, I was more in control. It's good to win 3-0. Hopefully I'll play better tomorrow and as the tournament goes on."
"It was great to get on court with a player of his caliber," Lake said. "I had a clear game plan, which I felt I got to play. But with his speed he really got onto me and made me work hard. There's a reason he's highly ranked."


Matches between countrymen can make for some of the most intense squash spectators will ever see, perhaps because there are more intangible things -- pride, for instance, or glory -- riding on the outcome. The match between Mahesh Mangaonkar, India's No. 2 on its gold-medal winning 2014 Asian Games team, and Harinderpal Singh Sandhu, India's 2014 National Champion and Asian Games gold medalist, was certainly the most dynamic of the night, as well as the longest, unfolding across five games in 75 minutes. Both players sent the other scrambling across the court on more than one occasion, both played beautiful long games, both had some fantastic pick-ups and flashes of brilliant shotmaking. But in the end, Mangaonkar stayed a bit steadier, building a solid lead in the fifth that Sandhu just couldn't chip away. Mangaonkar won 6-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6 in 75 minutes.


Sometimes a wildcard lives up to the name. Such was the case today, when the World No. 256 sent the World No. 22 all over the court with his unpredictable play. Where Ramit Tandon's next shot would land was anyone's guess, and Chris Simpson's pick-ups seemed to be played on a hunch. Most of the time, the hunch played off, but Tandon's shots got past Simpson often enough to make it a close match and keep the crowd cheering loudly for the local lad. Yet Simpson's speed and singularly error-free play carried the day, particularly as Tandon lost steam in the third game. Simpson won 11-9, 15-13, 11-7 in 61 minutes.
"It was really, really tough," Simpson said. "He's got quite outstanding racket work. It made me feel very nervous because I never knew what shot I was going to play. To be honest, I felt like I was running all over, while he stayed on the T. But I played the big points well in the first and second games, and that was crucial."


Kush Kumar (IND) had a strong start today against Zahed Mohamed (EGY), racking up a quick lead 5-1, then 8-5 thanks to a string of unforced errors by Mohamed. But the Egyptian quickly changed tactics, and at 9-6 the game and match was up for Kumar. Mohamed quickly made up points, taking the first game 11-9, and continued to dominate to win 11-9, 11-8, 11-4 in 38 minutes.
"I knew he's a good player," Mohamed said. "I won, but it was a good match. I had to be focused. In the first game at 9-6 down, I told myself, 'start now.' The second game, I played the basics also and won. The court is tight and difficult for me. But I'm happy with my performance and looking forward to tomorrow."


Rex Hedrick (AUS) took his match against Olli Tuominen (FIN) in three straight sets, his longer shots controlling the play over Tuominen's shorter strategy. Still, there's a reason Tuominen is still a threat on the tour after nearly 20 years. He had a couple of neat counterdrops in the first game that gave Hedrick some trouble, and the second game saw Tuominen make an effort to adapt with longer shotmaking. But Hedrick always seemed to keep him off-rhythm, catching a string of points in the third off Tuominen's unforced errors, before taking the match 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 in 28 minutes. For full match stats and analysis, click here.
"It went well," Hedrick said. "Olli has been struggling a little bit with a calf injury. I just played the best I could, and it seemed to work. He was quite attacking, but I controlled the match to keep on top."
"I wasn't good enough today," Tuominen said. "Rex was playing very accurate squash, and the pace was too hard for me today. I couldn't move well enough. I played too many mistakes as well. It was not the best day for me. My calf didn't hurt at all actually, but I guess I was a bit scared of it. But the season is still quite young. I will try to keep it that way for future tournaments."


Ammar Altamimi (KUW) made a good showing in his first 35k Main Draw, but couldn't quite close the deal. Altamimi and his opponent, Greg Lobban (SCO), both played tight games with few errors and fantastic pick-ups, each taking two games off the other. But Lobban racked up a quick lead in the fifth at 6-1, then 9-4, and an obviously tired Altamimi didn't have it in him to claw back the points, sending the game to Lobban 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 10-12, 11-5 in 55 minutes.
"It was close," Lobban said. "I got off to a slow start. I had to find a way to turn it on my side. I played a bit more straight in the second half of the second game; things weren't going my way, so I had to go to plan B."
bottom of page