Saurav Ghosal created history by bringing home India's first silver medal from the Asian Games squash but was still disappointed on missing out on the gold after losing the men's singles final 2-3 to Kuwait's Abdullah Al Muzayen here on Tuesday.
The World No.16 was up two games and was well on his way to India's first yellow metal from the discipline when his World No.46 Kuwaiti opponent came back to stun Ghosal and win the next three games to clinch the contest at the Yeorumul Squash Courts.
"It's obviously disappointing to lose the match like that. We all know how good he is. I don't think I played badly performance-wise. I give credit to Abdullah for how he played. Congratulations to him for what he did," said a dejected Ghosal, who also has two singles bronzes from the 2006 and 2010 Asian Games.
"Some of the shots he executed or even attempted were amazing. He played very well and we are good friends, despite all the tension you might have seen in the match."
The 28-year-old Indian was the odds-on favourite to win the first gold for India in the racquet sport at the Asian Games and that belief was only strengthened after he won the first two games.
But in one of the biggest shocks, the Kolkata-born eventually lost 10-12, 2-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-9 in an hour and 15 minutes.
Talking about the final game Ghosal said: "It was pretty much a one-game little shootout. I was not under any pressure or any greater pressure than I was before the match.
"He put together some shots that were amazing and difficult. He missed a lot in the first half hour. But later on it worked out really well for him. It's very difficult to see what else I could have done in retrospect but I was playing against someone who reacts so well."
Abdullah, on the other hand, called this his biggest win ever, though he does have a few wins over top-10s on the circuit.
"After the second game I thought I was done. It was over. But I gave it another shot and it slowly worked. It was a very tough match and Saurav played very well. We know each other and are good friends," said Abdullah.