New Delhi: Becoming the first Indian male squash player to break into the top-20 of world rankings has instilled fresh confidence into Saurav Ghosal, who has sounded a warning to his fancied opponents on the professional circuit to look out for him in the upcoming tournaments.
"The ranking will take care of itself if I start beating some of the top-10 guys on the PSA tour. I just want to beat them and earn myself some big wins on the tour. That would be superb. I am trying to move to the next level and make the quarters and semis of the big events," Ghosal told PTI.
Ghosal, already the highest-ranked Indian of all-time, rose to a career-high 18th recently, largely due to his eighth title success in the Indian National Championships in December and a pre-quarterfinal appearance in the PSA World Championship in Qatar.
Ghosal said he has started understanding his own game better and hopes to break into the top-10 of world rankings by the end of this year.
"It would be like that only (top-15 and then top-10) but I want to focus more on my performance. Just want to fine-tune my game a bit to beat the top players. Keep adding elements to my game and keep evolving as a better squash player. That's the target for this year.
"I have been working towards it (breaking into the top-20) for quite a while now and I am glad that finally it has happened. Hopefully, I can push on from here and get some positive results," said Ghosal, who was in the capital for his visa application.
The UK-based 26-year-old from Kolkata credited former World No. 1 James Willstrop's father and coach Malcolm besides former national champion Ritwik Bhattacharya for turning him into a better player.
"Malcolm Willstrop has made me the professional player I am today. We have been working towards it for the past eight years and I wouldn't be here at this stage without him by any stretch of the imagination," Ghosal said.
"Ritwik has been working with me for the last two years. He has helped me quite a bit and his inputs definitely contributed towards some of the good results especially over the last year," said Ghosal who trains at Pontefract in Yorkshire with Willstrop's son James.
Ghosal admitted he is changing his approach towards every single game with each passing year on the PSA circuit.
"I am a much better player now. I am understanding my own game a lot better and I know what exactly are my strengths and weaknesses. I also know how I want the match to progress. I am more confident with the things I am doing. That helps in terms of planning against other players. I am playing much better than ever before," said.
Talking about the upcoming tournaments, he said, "First is the North American Open in Virginia at the end of this month and then the PSA Cup in Kuwait starting March 8."