CHENNAI: India began the fourth edition of the Squash World Cup on a positive note by defeating Hong Kong 4-0 in the tournament opener played at the all-glass court inside Express Avenue Mall in Chennai on Tuesday. In the last edition, that was also held in Chennai in 2011, with Egypt lifting the trophy.
Joshna Chinappa and Saurav Ghosal, who spearhead India’s challenge came off with contrasting victories over their opponents. Joshna put her experience to effective use. She won the first game effortlessly with her court mobility and pulsating returns. In the second game, her opponent Heylie Fung played better than the previous one and thus there was a keen tussle, but Joshna played the big points better and took a 2-0 lead. In the final game, she upped the tempo and won he match 7-1, 7-5, 7-5.
Abhay Singh gave India the first win of the tournament. He was clinical and demolished his opponent in no time. Abhay beat Chung Long 7-2, 7-3, 7-6. “Pleased to start on a winning note. I prepared in earnest for this tournament and it came in handy,’’ Abhay told this daily after his victory. The home support propelled him to give the best. “I played in a relaxed manner.
Familiar conditions and experience of playing in this environment made my task easy. My opponent at times tested my skill, but he could not get the better off me due the conditions which were really hot,” said Abhay. Sourav defeated To Yu Ling 5-7, 7-2, 7-5, 7-1, while Tanvi Khanna earned a hard fought 5-7, 6-7, 7-1, 7-4, 7-3 win over Tse Yee Lam Toby.
Top seeds Egypt post win
In the day’s second tie, top seeds Egypt showed their class as they blanked Australia. Karim El Hammamy bounced back from a troubled start in the opening match, with the World No.42 taken by surprise by the intensity of Australia’s Nicholas Calvert, who played the fast conditions better in the opener to take the first game 7-5. However, El Hammamy recovered quickly dominating the rest of the contest.
Results: Pool A: Egypt bt Australia 4-0; Malaysia bt Colombia 3-1; Pool B: Japan bt South Africa 3-1; India bt Hong Kong 4-0.