Incheon, Sept 21:
Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal assured India of at least two more Asian Games medals after reaching the semi-finals of their respective singles events at the Yeorumul Squash Courts here Sunday.
Ghosal entered the men’s singles semis with a 3-1 win over Pakistan’s Nasir Iqbal. The top seeded Ghosal won 11-6, 9-11, 11-2, 11-9 in the quarter-final which lasted 58 minutes.
In the women’s singles, Pallikal prevailed 3-2 in a keenly-contested quarter-final against compatriot and doubles partner Joshna Chinappa. She won 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 15-17, 11-9 in an hour and 41 minutes.
Ghosal, who is a two-time Asiad bronze medallist, next faces a tougher opponent in 2006 Asiad champion Ong Beng Hee of Malaysia, who defeated Hong Kong’s Au Chun Ming 3-1 (11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7) in the other quarter-final.
The Indian started the game on a bright note against the 20-year-old Iqbal, winning the first game 11-6. But a few mistakes on Ghosal’s part allowed Iqbal to equalise 1-1 as the World No.16 Indian went down 9-11.
However, an unflustered Ghosal brought all his experience to the fore and remained calm to get his rhythm back and won the next two games 11-2 and 11-9 to seal the tie in his favour.
Later, World No.12 Dipika defeated her doubles partner Joshna Chinappa, with whom she won India’s maiden squash doubles gold at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, after dropping the opening game in a pulsating contest.
Joshna took the lead with an 11-7 win in the first game but Pallikal bounced back to win the second and third games 11-9 and 11-8. Chinappa restored parity in the fourth, clinching the game 17-15 but Pallikal held her nerve to claim the final game 11-9 to shut the contest.