The Indian challenge in the ROWE British Grand Prix squash championship came to an end after national champion Saurav Ghosal suffered a straight-game first-round defeat at the hands France’s Gregory Gaultier in Manchester.
Ghosal, unseeded in the tournament, went down 4-11 5-11 2-11 to sixth seed Gaultier in 47 minutes at the National Squash Centre last night.
“Saurav was very fast and played much better than the last two times we met. It’s good to get a tough first match, you have to be on your marks from the start rather than putting you on the back foot,” said Gaultier after the match.
“I have been playing well since the worlds in Germany. I wasn’t feeling great after my first two tournaments, but I worked on my rackets skills and it all came together last month,” said the 28-year-old from Aix-en-Provence.
The Frenchman was in control from the start and often, at the end of a long rally where both covered every inch of the court, came up with the stunning out-of-the-blue winner.
Ghosal, world ranked 26th, did not play badly, but the world number 6th Frenchman was just unplayable.
On top from the outset, and confident enough to play flashy shots, Gaultier kept a tight grip on the match, with Ghosal unable to get a foothold.
The ROWE British Grand Prix, the fourth of nine PSA World Series championships in 2011, and the biggest squash event to be staged in the UK this year, has attracted a star-studded field featuring 16 of the world’s top 20 players, including six former world number ones.