India’s World No.11 Saurav Ghosal is through to the third round of the PSA Men’s World Championship 2019-2020 after defeating Frenchman Lucas Serme in straight games at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha.
The Indian No.1, who came through a tricky test over compatriot Mahesh Mangaonkar in the first round, had only faced the Frenchman twice in his career, with their most recent meeting also coming in the second round of a World Championships, in Chicago in February.
Their match-up in Qatar went much the same way, with Ghosal winning out in three games to book his place in the third round, as he eased past Serme in just 35 minutes.
The first game was tough for the Indian, as the World No.37 put up a fight, staying within a couple of points of his opponent throughout. Ghosal was able to take it 11-8, before then navigating his way through the second.
The World No.11 then took the first five points in the third game, as he showed his dominance in the match. Although Serme attempted to come back into it, it was too little too late, and the India advances through to the last 16 of the World Championships.
“It is the World Championships, so you are playing the best players in every single round. The depth in men’s squash today is unbelievable like you are seeing through this week. Everyone has to be focussed from the first point. It is a tough sport so it is good to win 3-0,” Ghosal explained.
“Him [James Willstrop] and me started off as playing partners when I moved to Pontefract when I was 18. Now it has transcended squash and we are very good friends on a personal level. For a lot of people who don’t know him, he is one of the best humans I know. The amount I have learned from him is priceless.
“When I was younger, I never looked more than three years down the line, and now it has been 13 years. For me, the body has to stay active, but the mind is a factor and I still want to be enjoying the game. There have been some ups and some downs, but overall, this sport has given me a lot and it has enriched my life.”
 Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 (36m)