Saurav Ghosal draws a greater significance to the date rather than the title itself. The Kolkata International title ended the 29-year-old’s three year Professional Squash Association trophy drought — the last coming at the Windy City Open in 2012. Yet India’s number one men’s squash player remains content dwelling on the coincidence of winning his latest title on ‘September 27.’ “I’ve won my first PSA in sometime on this day. And exactly a year ago, we won the Asiad team gold. It’s quite a sweet deal,” he says.
On this occasion, the world number 15 notched a 11-7, 11-2, 11-7 straight games win against 12th placed Egyptian Marwan Elshorbagy in the final of the event to claim his sixth PSA title.
Including the latest win, Ghosal’s form in the last two months has seen him reach the final in four of his last five PSA events, the previous one being the runner-up finish at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) International held in Mumbai just a fortnight ago. His fourth final in Kolkata finally got him the win he’d been chasing.
Finally winning a PSA event though has brought back a level of confidence in the training he has been undergoing. Since winning the nationals, Ghosal has been working specifically on his aggressive short-game play. “It’s been getting better according to the results these past few months. I’m also working on my mental conditioning. But I need to put in more work to get better at those aspects. It’s just these small changes I need to make that become instrumental overall.”
Incidentally, along with the date, the fact that his first ever PSA win in India has come in his home city, at Calcutta Rackets Club, also serves well for his morale. “I’ve been coming here since I was eight. There were so many familiar faces here wishing me well before the match and then celebrating after it. It just made things much better,” he says. “That and this coming on the Asian Games anniversary,” he concludes.