QF: Saurav 2-0 Iker

[3] Saurav Ghosal (IND) 2-0 [6] Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP)  11-4, 16-14 (42m)

The great thing about Nantes is that most of the spectators are discovering squash. And their reactions are priceless. The appreciation from the people behind me was constant but one sentence stuck in my head: “Tu crois ce que tu vois sans déconner?”, which you could loosely translate as “can you believe what you see no sh…”

That sort of summarise the second game really.

Yes, it took a little while for Iker to get used to the court conditions, and Saurav was as clinical than he can be, his movement seems to have improved still, and that was always his forte! Incredible progression at 36… 11/4 in 13m, no errors from either of them.

Actually, to tell you the quality of the squash produced, Saurav didn’t make a single error, while Iker, just coming back after a long off court period thanks to a nasty injury after Chicago, started to make his at 8/5 in the second…

And in that second game, that lasted 26m – the longest game of the event so far, the 21/19 game between Fayrouz and Kenzy in round one lasted “only” 24m – Iker stepped up the pace, took the game to his opponent, really producing some superb attacks. But then again, Saurav was on the retrieving from hell mode, finding some sublime attacks himself.

From 2/2, the Spanish seemed in control score wise, 8/5, 10/7 3 game balls, all saved by Saurav, 10/10. Iker was going to have 3 more chances before the tide turned, and the Indian clinched the game on his second attempt, 16/14.

The crowd was incredibly grateful, noisy, admirative and passionate. A Nantes crowd, simply said.


I am not disappointed at all, I’m so happy to move again like that you know, I can’t remember the last time I was moving like that.

I was feeling pain free today, moving well, moving fast. As you know I’m not at my best shape physically yet, I’m still building up my form. I’m very happy.

The first game was quite hard for me, I was thinking about my movement, my agility on court, my footwork, and thinking about the shot selection.

Very good feeling in the second game, and I will take so much positive from the second game, now I go home for a couple of days to work on it, then flying off to Egypt, again!

Very good vibes, I enjoyed it, I was missing it so much…


“I’ve been working a lot with David Palmer, I’ve been trying to use my speed to attack, but you still need structure at the back and to pick your moments. That was the difference in the first and the second, as I say, Iker put me under pressure and I think I improved today from yesterday and that’s the aim, to try and improve every day I step on court.”