Back in action after 6 months, Ghosal and Chinappa make winning start in Egypt

India’s leading squash players Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa tasted success in their first competitive outing in six months, comprehensively winning their opening matches at the CIB Egyptian Open here.

Ghosal and Chinappa were in Kolkata and Chennai respectively when the nation wide lockdown was enforced in March to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

World number 13 Ghosal beat 34th-ranked Englishman, Tom Richards, 11-9, 11-4, 11-1 in a second round match.

World number 11 Chinappa dropped the first game against Scotland’s Lisa Aitken before finding her rhythm for a 7-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-6 win.

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Both Ghosal and Chinappa had got a bye in the first round. They next play on Tuesday.

“It was good to be back playing again. My basic game was ok, but I was not sharp enough and I was opening the court when I was going short, and he took full advantage of it,” Ghosal told the tournament website.

“I was still a few points ahead, so it gave me a bit of a mental cushion as he always had to catch up. From the second on, I was more incisive, my length got better and he couldn’t fire as much as he wanted.”

Due to limited travel connectivity from India amid the pandemic, Ghosal would be staying back in Egypt ahead of the Qatar Classic beginning November 1. Chinappa would head back home after her Egyptian Open campaign.