Third seed Saurav Ghosal will be India’s best bet for a first-ever singles medal in squash when the individual events begin at the Commonwealth Games, in Gold Coast on Thursday.
Ghosal, who had lost the bronze medal play-off in Glasgow four years ago, gets another shot at making history.
He has got a first round bye and starts his campaign only on Friday.
Ghosal, who reached a career-high 13 in the world rankings at the start of the month, is drawn to meet eighth seed Alan Clyne of Scotland in the quarterfinals and second seed Paul Coll of New Zealand in the semifinals.
“I am feeling really good about my game and fitness-wise too I have not felt better. A major reason for that is the time I spent at Abhinav Bindra’s high-performance centre,” Ghosal had told PTI before leaving for Gold Coast.
Other Indians in the men’s singles draw, Harinder Pal Sandhu and Vikram Malhotra, play their opener tomorrow.
Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa made history in Glasgow by winning the women’s doubles gold and a repeat of that performance is very much on the cards. However in singles, it will be much tougher for India’s leading ladies.
Ninth seed Pallikal takes Charlotte Knaggs of Trinidad and Tobado in the first round tomorrow while eighth seed Chinappa faces Lynette Vai of Papua New Guinea. Both the Indians are in the same half of the draw which also has defending champion Nicol David of Malaysia and second seed Joelle King of New Zealand.
Pallikal, who has never beaten David, is drawn to meet the two-time gold winner in the quarterfinals. The Chennai-based player first has to deal with the fifth seed Alison Waters of England in the second round.
Chinappa should reach the quarterfinals without much difficulty but it will require a special performance to beat King in the last-eight stage.
The doubles and mixed doubles will follow the singles event.