India’s Saurav Ghosal waged a grim battle before losing in straight games against Australian Cameron Pilley in the first round of the USD 147,000 Qatar Classic Squash Open in Doha.

Ghosal, world ranked 26th, lost 6—11 10—12 7—11 to Pilley, ranked 17th in the PSA charts, in 54 minutes at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complexm on Monday night.

The Indian hopes now hung on the qualifier Siddharth Suchde, who registered an upset victory over Egyptian Ali Anwar Reda to book a pre—quarterfinal date with sixth seed France’s Gregory Gaultier in the sixth PSA World Series event of the year.

Ghosal put himself under too much pressure from the outset, not getting enough time to adjust his shots, making too many errors, unable to find a length and width that would have prevented the Australian to play freely.

Ghosal fought, ran, counter—attacked, but Pilley had all the answers.

The only time these two players met was during the Mumbai PSA Masters in 2009, and in front of his homecrowd, Ghosal created the upset by beating Pilley in a solid performance.

“He played very well, I don’t think I played perfectly, but he was patient, he did not make any errors. In each game, we were close 3/3, 4/4, but then he pulled away, strung a few points and I did not step up,” said Ghosal after the match.

Pilley said, “Ghosal is one of the fastest guys out there, and you cannot afford to play too short that quickly, as he gets nearly everything.”

“You have got to stay patient, and keep at it. I think my game is definitely progressing and getting stronger,” he added.

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