JAKARTA, Aug 25: India�s squash singles campaign in the Asian Games yielded three bronze medals after Saurav Ghosal, Dipika Pallikal Karthik and Joshna Chinappa lost their respective semifinal clashes here today.
Saurav frittered away a two-set advantage to lose the men�s singles semifinal after Dipika and Joshna suffered defeats in the women�s singles semifinals earlier in the day.
Irrespective of the defeats, this is India�s best ever show in the Asian Games in squash singles. In the 2014 Asian Games, India won two singles medals � Ghosal had a silver and Dipika a bronze.
Ghosal was going great guns but lost 12-10, 13-11, 6-11, 6-11, 6-11 to Chun Ming Au from Hong Kong in an intense semifinal.
In the first game, Ghosal trailed 4-9 at one stage but made a remarkable comeback to snatch the lead. In the second game, he had a 4-0 lead but Chun Ming was not in a mood to throw in the towel and stretched the Indian.
It was neck and neck at 8-8, 9-9 and 11-11 but Ghosal found a winner at crucial time to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
However, in the third set, from a lead of 6-5, Ghosal lost six points in a row to allow Chung Ming make a comeback. The momentum had shifted and Ghosal was now finding it tough to get going and meekly lost the fourth and fifth set.
Ghosal said he suffered an injury in his left leg towards the end of the second set and that took away the �intensity� from him.
�I don�t want to make excuses but it�s hurting badly. Against this player, you need to have high intensity. Towards the end of the second game it flared and I lost my intensity. But credit to him for fighting back after losing two sets,� Ghosal said.
�A lot of things go into a win. The body did not hold today but I have played good squash here,� he said.
Dipika lost her semifinal to Malaysian great Nicol David, one of the most formidable players the game has seen.
Dipika led 5-2 and 4-1 in the first two games but three-time defending champion Nicol had enough experience to run away with a 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 win.
Nicol�s agility, movement and anticipation was too good for Dipika.
�She is experienced and knows how to handle every situation, thrown at her. She was World No. 1 for 10 years for a reason. I am happy I played well. It�s unfortunate that I was in top-half to play with Nicol,� Dipika said after her match.
Joshna was also up against a Malaysian in Sivasangari Subramaniam, who emerged a 12-10, 6-11, 11-9 winner in the second semifinal.
It was her maiden singles Asian Games medal for Joshna, who returned empty-handed in the previous three editions.
�The umpiring was dodgy. I have always felt like this when this referee is there. Anyway, Siva really played well. I have waited for this for long. I competed in three Asian Games but never won a medal,� she said. � PTI