MATCH 3 | (5) Nicolas Mueller (SUI) beat 3-2 (4) Saurav Ghosal (IND) 9-11, 12-14, 11-2, 11-9, 11-6 (80 mins)
Egged on by some boisterous local support, Saurav looked composed as he took the court to the cheers of the crowd. Many juniors with their faces painted with the Indian flag screamed themselves hoarse as Saurav took a commanding 10-4 lead. The composed Muller pegged it back rather systematically to 9-10 before a beautiful volley drop gave the Indian the first.
A very close second as they traded points before Muller led 7-5. Saurav levelled at 7.
Muller pressed on for 9-7. A fantastic rally - perhaps the longest of the match - belonged to Saurav. He followed it with another well constructed rally for 9-9. Muller held the ball beautifully to inch to 10-9. A delightful cross court sent Muller the wrong way - 10-10. He now had his own game ball . A no- let for Saurav- 11-11. Nothing to choose between them. 12-12. Both playing some quality squash. Saurav had Muller scrambling in the next point. Some miraculous retrieving by Muller, the last pickup close to the wall resulting in his hand being grazed. Blood. Playing hand. Injury timeout. Ritwik was in his corner. A stroke followed to Saurav and he had a crucial 2-0 lead
A resurgent Muller came storming back to stamp his class in the third. Showing off some amazing strokes he raced to 11-2. The crowd had suddenly gone quiet.
Muller carried the momentum to lead 3-1 as Saurav kept it tight to level. A delectable volley drop followed by a monster of a rally and Indian had 5-3. The crowd was getting the power in the lungs back as the decibel levels increased in anticipation of an Indian victory. 6-4, then 7-5. Muller wasn't done as he pumped his fist to draw even at 7. Saurav stayed consistent to move closer 9-7. The Swiss stayed strong 9-9. The quality was from the top drawer. Game ball Muller. An unforced error from Saurav and we were going into a decider.
Change of shirt for Muller. Fresh instructions from Ritwik for Saurav.
Muller raced to a 4-0 lead. The crowd willed the Indian on 1-4. Muller looked in charge at 5-1 but Saurav kept battling. Back to back winners and it was 3-5. Edge of the seat stuff. Traded the next two points 4-6. Muller 7-4. A controlled over head winner from Muller for 8-4 followed by an unforced error and Muller was within sniffing distance. Muller 10-5. Saurav saved one. The last winner from Muller's racket to complete a fine come from behind win. A disappointed crowd but they were treated to some vintage squash. Saurav had some kind words for Muller who richly deserved the win.