Friday, March 1, 2024

PSA: Darwish wins three-game marathon

Kolkata champion Karim Darwish

Saurav Ghosal in action

RESULTS: PSA International 35 Kolkata International, Kolkata, India

RESULTS: PSA International 35 Kolkata International, Kolkata, India

[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt [2] Omar Mosaad (EGY) 12-10, 12-10, 11-4 (91m)

Karim Crowned Kolkata King

In the longest three-game match either player had ever played, world No3 Karim Darwish overcame fellow EgyptianOmar Mosaad in today’s final of the Kolkata International to win the PSA World Tour International 35 squash title at the Calcutta Racket Club in the Indian city of Kolkata.

“The battle of 91 gruelling minutes for a straight games win was a reflection of how the two Egyptians fought for each and every point,” said an event spokesman.

“Mosaad, currently ranked 17 in the world, had lost in the Kolkata International semi-finals two years – but was not overawed playing someone ranked 14 places above him.”

Both the first two games went to tie-breaks, with Darwish coming out on top at crucial points of the games.

Frustrated by not being able to get his nose ahead of higher-ranked opponent, Mosaad buckled in the third as Darwish closed out the historic match 12-10, 12-10, 11-4.

“I am recovering from a hamstring injury and so I wanted to come here and win so that I can take a few points. It would help my ranking,” explained Darwish, after the longest recorded 3-0 match on the PSA World Tour since October 2008.

The 29-year-old from Cairo is celebrating his second PSA Tour title in a row – after winning the CIMB KL Open in Malaysia last month – and the 21st of his career.


[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt [4] Saurav Ghosal (IND) 11-9, 5-11, 11-9, 11-4 (54m)
[2] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (28m)

Darwish Disappoints Home Crowd In Kolkata

Egypt’s world No3 Karim Darwish dashed hopes of local success in the Kolkata International when he defeated the Kolkata-born Indian number one Saurav Ghosal in the semi-finals of the PSA World Tour International 35 squash event at the Calcutta Racket Club in Kolkata.

Despite the distraction of the cricket world cup final, Calcutta Club regulars turned up as if bound by duty to support their fourth-seeded local hero in his match against the Egyptian favourite.

“Not that they had come there anticipating Ghosal to script the biggest upset of his career,” said an event spokesman. “All they wanted to see was the boy, who they saw up learning the ropes here, put up a fight.

“Ghosal did not disappoint. And had the opening game ended up in his favour, then who knows?”

The 24-year-old world No23 matched Darwish shot for shot and, after trailing 0-3, caught up with the Egyptian at 7-7. Ghosal retrieved almost every ball with amazing agility.

Tied at nine-all, a ‘stroke’ went against Ghosal, and Darwish followed that up with a perfectly played drop to steal the first game.

Ghosal came back all guns blazing in the second and from 4-4 opened up a 10-4 lead. He kept the ball in play and mixed it up with a range of drops and boasts. Darwish helped Ghosal’s cause with a couple of mistimed shots that hit the tin.

But, with the score poised at one game all and 2-2 in the third, Ghosal tripped on Darwish’s heel and crashed into the wall, bruising his knee. The Indian star took a three-minute time-out to apply ice, but the break did not help his cause.

Darwish took full advantage and went on to claim the 11-9, 5-11, 11-9, 11-4 victory in 54 minutes which took the 29-year-old former world number one into the 34th PSA Tour final of his career.

“I thought Ghosal likes to play in these conventional courts a lot better,” said Darwish later. “I played him in Malaysia two weeks back in all glass and won it a lot easily.”

Darwish will face second seed Omar Mosaad in an all-Egyptian final.

Mosaad did not break a sweat demolishing unseeded compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 in just 28 minutes. The 19-year-old had no answer to Mosaad’s precise cross-courts and scorching backhands.

Mosaad, the 23-year-old world No17 from Cairo who is celebrating his 14th Tour final, has met Darwish twice before – and will no doubt take heart from the fact that he won their last encounter, on home soil last year.


[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY) 11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10 (73m)
[4] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [Q] Amr Khaled Khalifa (EGY) 11-8, 6-2 ret.
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [3] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) 12-14, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 (55m)
[2] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Robbie Temple (ENG) 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 (37m)

Ghosal Eases Into Kolkata Semis

Local hero Saurav Ghosal had an unexpectedly easy run through to the semi-finals of the Kolkata International after his opponent was forced to withdraw midway through today’s quarter-final match in the PSA World Tour International 35 squash event at Calcutta Racket Club in Kolkata.

The Kolkata-born world No24 was leading qualifier Amr Khaled Khalifa 11-8, 6-2 when the reigning world junior champion conceded the match due to congestion in his chest.

It will be a fresher-than-anticipated Ghosal, the 24-year-old fourth seed, who will now face top seed Karim Darwish for a place in the final. The world No3 from Cairo was fully tested by younger compatriot Mohd Ali Anwar Reda before emerging the 11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10 victor after 73 minutes.

Ghosal will go into the match 6/0 down in his career head-to-head record against former world number one Darwish – hoping that his ‘fresh’ legs may give him the edge this time.

The other semi-final will be a surprise all-Egyptian contest after unseeded Karim Abdel Gawad upset Malaysia’s No3 seedOng Beng Hee 12-14, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 in just under an hour.

The Alexandria-born 19-year-old will now line up against second seed Omar Mosaad, the world No16 from Cairo who beat Englishman Robbie Temple 11-8, 11-6, 11-7.

Semi-final line-up:
[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) v [4] Saurav Ghosal (IND)
[2] Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)

RESULTS: PSA International 35 Kolkata International, Kolkata, India

1st round:
[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt [Q] Clinton Leeuw (RSA) 11-5, 11-1, 11-5 (30m)
Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY) bt [Q] Jorge Isaac Baltazar Ferreira (MEX) 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 (43m)
[Q] Amr Khaled Khalifa (EGY) bt [Q] Ivan Yuen (MAS) 7-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5 (81m)
[4] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Bradley Hindle (MLT) 12-10, 12-10, 11-3 (49m)
[3] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) bt Andrew Wagih Shoukry (EGY) 8-11, 11-2, 11-6, 2-11, 11-7 (61m)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Siddharth Suchde (IND) 11-9, 5-11, 11-5, 11-7 (42m)
Robbie Temple (ENG) bt Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) 11-9, 11-8, 11-13, 11-6 (78m)
[2] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 11-9, 6-11, 11-8, 13-11 (52m)

Ghosal Canters Into Kolkata Quarters

Top-ranked Indian Saurav Ghosal led home hopes through to the quarter-finals of the Kolkata International after a straight games win over Malta’s Bradley Hindle in today’s opening round of the PSA World Tour International 35squash event at Calcutta Racket Club in Kolkata.

The Kolkata-born world No24 prevailed 12-10, 12-10, 11-3 in 49 minutes to set up a clash with reigning world junior championAmr Khaled Khalifa. The 18-year-old Egyptian survived an 81-minute battle against fellow qualifier Ivan Yuen, beating the 20-year-old Malaysian 7-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5.

Top seed Karim Darwish led a quintet of Egyptians through to the last eight in Kolkata. The world No3 from Cairo despatched South African qualifier Clinton Leeuw 11-5, 11-1, 11-5 and will now face compatriot Mohd Ali Anwar Reda, the world No27 from Cairo who also overcame a qualifier when he beat Mexican Jorge Isaac Baltazar Ferreira 11-9, 11-5, 11-9.

Former world number one Darwish is expected to meet a fellow countryman in Sunday’s final. Second seed Omar Mosaadalso put out a Mexican, defeating Cesar Salazar 11-9, 6-11, 11-8, 13-11.

Quarter-final line-up:
[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) v Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY)
[4] Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [Q] Amr Khaled Khalifa (EGY)
[3] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) v Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
[2] Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Robbie Temple (ENG)


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