It’ll be tough for Sourav Ghosal in the high-profile PSA Indian Challenger, at the Calcutta Racket Club from April 14 to 17. Ranked 29th in the world, the top-ranked Indian is the eighth seed in the meet and will face world No. 39 Australian Aaron Frankomb in the first round.
Top seed and world No 10 Adrian Grant of England, who opens against a qualifier, could be Ghosal’s next opponent.
The $50,000 (Rs 22.7 lakh) five-star meet, which has wildcard Siddhanth Suchde as the only other Indian in the main draw, has eight players ranked in the top 30. Suchde faces former Kolkata Open champion world No 18 Azlan Iskander of Malaysia in the opening round. Ritwik Bhattacharya (115), Harinder Pal Sandhu (109) and Naresh Kumar (154) are all in the qualifying draw, which has a lone Pak player Yasir Butt.
“Top Pakistani players Amir Atlas Khan and Farhan Mehboob are not playing, neither here nor the PSA 4-star meet in Egypt, which is being held around the same time,” a CRC official said. There were no Pakistani players in the 2009 Kolkata Open draw following the 26/11 Mumbai attacks but the year before that, eight top Pakistan players took part.