Our confidence is up after Asian Games display: Sandhu
Mumbai: Top player Harinder Pal Sandhu singled out the Indian men’s squad’s superb gold medal winning team effort at the 2014 Asian Games as a major confidence-booster for the players on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) tour.
“That performance has boosted the confidence of all of us. That gold medal win helped us a lot,” the 27-year-old Sandhu, who is ranked 56th in the world and seeded 5th in the 15,000 USD NSCI Open JSW Indian Squash Circuit that commenced today, told reporters here.
Sandhu was part of the Indian squad that lifted the gold medal in Incheon, defeating Malaysia 2-0 in the team final.
The Chandigarh-born, Chennai-based Sandhu had stepped on the court first and given India a flying start by outclassing Iskandar Mohamad Azlan Bin 3-1 in 58 minutes before Saurav Ghosal sealed the gold medal with a hard-fought 3-2 win in 88 minutes over Malaysia’s Ong Beng Hee.
With India wrapping up the tie, Mahesh Mangaonkar was not needed to play his game against Mohd Adnan Mohd Nafiizwan Bin.
The confidence-boost that Sandhu got in the Incheon Asiad helped him in taming Ghosal for the first time in the subsequent nationals at the Cricket Club of India court here last November in the title contest and he also won the Christchurch International Open title in June this year.
Sandhu had also done well in the run-up to the Asiad by winning three out of the four events in the inaugural JSW circuit season and he hopes he could replicate it in the current season.
“I could win three out of four events last year. This year the competition is tougher but I will try my best. Every year the profile of the circuit is going up. It also helps a lot in playing in familiar home conditions. I have also prepared hard,” said Sandhu, who stayed and practised in the US (Florida)-based academy of former Australian world number 1 David Palmer for four weeks prior to the new PSA season.