CHENNAI: Soumyajit Ghosh’s hopes were hanging in the balance during the men’s singles final at the North Zone national ranking championships in New Delhi on Saturday. Despite digging deep into his bag of tricks against A Amalraj, the 22-year-old was down 6-10 in the decider. How was he going to overcome four match points?
Instead of choosing to attack like he had all day, Soumyajit elected to keep the ball in play utilising heavy spin; the oldest trick in the book. The ploy worked perfectly as Amalraj’s luck ran out, handing the Siliguri lad a fine 6-11, 12-10, 15-17, 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 12-10 victory. “I was very lucky. Amal has great power and control. It’s difficult to outduel him and the new plastic ball, which spins less, suits him. I was under pressure but kept telling myself to keep the ball in play,” he told Express.
With the Inter-institutional and South Zone titles to his name as well, Soumyajit has logged 300 points domestically, second only to Central and West Zone winner Amalraj’s tally of 345. Add to that, he also won the nationals and PSPB inter-unit trophies at the beginning of the year. “This year has undoubtedly been very successful for me domestically. I’ve played three big tournaments and won them all in contrasting fashion. Now I hope it can translate into good results overseas.”
He’ll get to test that statement soon enough, as there’s no rest for the weary yet; the Swedish Open begins this week. Even so, there’s a month-long period after that to prepare for the December 16-21 Commonwealth Championships in Surat. “This triumph has given me a ton of confidence for the Swedish Open. Amalraj, (G) Sathiyan and Sanil (Shetty) will also be competing there. After that, I’ll take a long break and prepare for the Commonwealth Championships. I want to be in tip-top shape for that… there’s no time to waste,” Soumyajit opined.
The Rio Olympic Games fast approaching, he may be right to feel that way.