The Marine talks about Saurav
34-year-old Saurav Ghosal, currently sitting at World #13, attained a career high ranking of 10 in April 2019.
Unfortunately, he was only able to play two of the five tournaments in the pre-Christmas return of the PSA World Tour due to a troublesome adductor injury which had affected him at the Qatar Classic, then forced the Indian #1 to withdraw from the CIB Black Ball Open in December,
Former World Champion and World No.1 David Palmer believes that the hiatus caused by the PSA World Tour’s prolonged mid-season break due to the COVID-19 David Palmer believes that pandemic will only serve to enhance the chances of India’s Saurav Ghosal’s return to the top 10 … and does not foresee Ghosal following Simon Rösner into retirement anytime soon.
“Saurav came to me a couple of years back and he had been based in England with Malcolm and James Willstrop and had really built his game up there. But he was looking for something to give him that little boost and help him to make the top 10 and we started working almost three years back.
“Although he has slipped back to No.13 because of the whole impact of the pandemic on tournaments and also picking up a couple of niggling injuries, I don’t think that his level has dropped at all. I honestly think Saurav does have more to give even in his mid – 30s. I still believe that, watching Saurav when his body is 100%, he is capable of beating anyone in the world.
“Obviously, there is no easy match in the top 10 and every player in there is present for a reason but Saurav is still incredibly committed and serious about his squash and I love that he is so professional.”
The Effect of the Pandemic
“I have several players from India who I work with as well as Saurav and there they have faced very hard restrictions and it’s been tough for them to get on court and to travel. Obviously Saurav missed Black Ball due to an adductor but not knowing what the next big tournament is, for all the players, challenging for them.
“I know that throughout the pandemic Saurav was studying all the players and we were going over notes on each one and he really used the suspension of the Tour and is using the current downtime to his best advantage.”
Age is just a number
“For me age is not the defining factor. Looking back at my day, well I played until I was 36 and so did Thierry Lincou and we were both still top 10 at the end of our careers. Then you look at what Nick Matthew has done and then at what Greg Gaultier is still doing as he attempts to climb back into the top 20 and for me age is not the single biggest factor.
“In that respect it comes down to the body and the mind. Saurav has to be very smart about his training and aside from the stuff he does with me he has a full-time strength and conditioning trainer a nutritionist and he really takes care of all the areas. I believe Saurav has more in him and I reckon he can beat a lot of the top 10 players and I expect him to push back up the rankings again when the PSA World Tour kicks-off once again.
“Yes, every year time is ticking away from Saurav a little bit, but he is just so professional, has taken everything possible into consideration and I believe you will see the difference when the Tour is back up and running this year.
“Really you will see who are the players that used their time fully and who maybe slacked off a bit ? Knowing Saurav whenever that first tournament is, he will be back ready.”