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BritOpen Update: Ghosal shocks eighth seed Castagnet

India’s Saurav Ghosal produced the biggest upset of the men’s draw so far at the 2016 Allam British Open as he knocked out in-form Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet to reach the second round of the ‘Wimbledon of Squash’ for the first time since 2013 – while Castagnet bows out at the first round stage for the first time in four years.

Castagnet, who was suffering with illness last night, struggled to cope with Ghosal’s pace and attrition – particularly in the final game as Ghosal was winning the big rallies with some great drop shots.

For long periods of the match it was very finely poised and the pair were level after two games before the third game saw the pendulum swing both ways throughout. Castagnet found himself 6-2 and in the driving seat until Ghosal really began to impress. The world number 19 began to control the match at the front and was winning a lot of points from that position on his backhand.

He took that momentum into the fourth game as the Frenchman looked to be running out of steam, which was understandable given the circumstances.

“Mathieu has been playing extremely well, his results over the last couple of months have been great,” said Ghosal.

“He won at canary wharf which was a massive win. I knew I had to be ready for an absolute battle. I was expecting long lung busting rallies. He digs in really well and he’s taken that to a new level recently.

“I thought I played an almost perfect first game, only make one or two errors. Even when I was 6-2 down in the third game I didn’t think I was playing bad, he played some really good points but I managed to get back to the length and width in which I started the match.”

It was a long marathon of a match which lasted 66 minutes and has come at a small cost for the 29-year old, who had an icepack on his ankle afterwards.

“I will know more tomorrow but I think it will be ok,” he said. “Physically, I felt strong towards the end but that’s because I was winning and dominating.

“I think Nick (Matthew) said it in Chicago that if you can’t back up after one hard match then you’re not training hard enough. I trust in the training that I’ve done but I’ve got a rest day to prepare for Thursday.”

Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [8] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-1: 11-6, 8-11, 12-10, 11-6 (67m)

By Paul Joannou

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