Bengaluru/Doha, October 30: India's Saurav Ghosal beat Hong Kong's Leo Au 11-2, 11-3, 11-5 to storm into the pre-quarterfinals of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour Qatar Classic Tournament.
It was a sweet revenge for Ghosal, who had gone down to Leo in the Asian Games semifinal in Jakarta a couple of months ago, despite winning the first two games.
At the glass courts of Doha's Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex, the Indian No.1 was hardly tested as he pumelled his opponent, who had come through the qualifiers, into submission in a one-sided tie that lasted 29 minutes.
After the win Ghosal played down the talk of revenge though.
"I don't consume myself with thoughts of revenge or anything like that - the focus was on how I would play any top player, which Leo is.
I was thinking about what I needed to do against him to impose my game and execute it," said Ghosal.
But a bigger test awaits Ghosal as he is set to take on Egypt's world No.2 Ali Farag for a place in the last-eight.
Farag reached the last 16 after coming through a thrilling battle (10-12, 11-5, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9) with compatriot Mohamed Abouelghar in what was a match of the season contender.
For long spells Farag was powerless to stop the attacking barrage coming from the racquet of Abouelghar but his persistence and grit paid off in the crucial fifth game when, tied at 9-9, he managed to sneak two decisive rallies to escape from the clutches of defeat.
"I don't know how I won that, I think I just got lucky at the end," said Farag afterwards.
"He's such a dangerous player, he's so attacking, so dangerous, so skilful. It was a very hard match mentally and physically, so I'm just really glad to win. There are no easy matched at this level so I just have to fully focus on my recovery now and come back and give it my best tomorrow."
As a PSA World Tour Platinum tournament, the winner of the event will automatically qualify for a coveted berth at the season-ending PSA World Tour Finals, which includes both a men's and women's tournament and features the reigning PSA World Champions together with the season's Platinum event winners and players that qualify by placing high enough on the PSA Road to Dubai Leaderboard.
(With PSA inputs)