POSTED DAE : July 17, 2016
73rd Senior National Squash Championship
12th to 17th July, 2016
Hosted by Otters Club
Top seed and defending champion Joshana Chinappa and second seed Dipika Pallikal lived up to their reputations to set up an eagerly anticipated women’s championship round clash, in the Otters Club 73rd Senior National Squash Championship, on Saturday.
Chinappa, ranked No. 10 in the world, halted fourth seed Akanksha Salunkhe of Goa with a 11-6, 11-2, 11-4 win. Aiming for her 15th national crown, Chinappa moved Salunkhe around the court and dominated the contest till the end, after ignoring an indifferent start.
“Akanksha played really well and she got off to a good start,” explained Chinappa. “Some of her shots were very impressive.”
World No. 19 Pallikal also took complete control in the other semi-final and prevailed over third seed Sachika Ingale of UP 11-5, 11-1, 11-4.
“I am delighted to be back for the nationals,” said Pallikal. “It’s good to see quite a lot of (women’s) players who are doing well. With Joshana and me at the top for quite some time, we hope the others take the pressure off us. We try to help them improve their games whenever we get the opportunity.”
Fourth seed Harinderpal Singh Sandhu rallied from a 1-2 deficit to snatch a 6-11, 13-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8 win over second seed Mumbai lad Mahesh Mangaonkar in a gripping men’s semi-final that went down to the wire and lasted a marathon one hour and 35 minutes.
Like Mangaonkar, another Mumbai lad Vikram Malhotra also won local hearts as he went down fighting to top seed and defending champion Saurav Ghosal who relied on a vast repertoire of strokes to escape to a 11-6, 5-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-9 win in another pulsating semi-final that lasted 65 minutes.
Trailing 3-5 in the crucial fourth, Sandhu won four points in a row to lead 7-5 before forcing the decider to keep his hopes alive in a fierce contest marked by long rallies and brute power behind every shot.
It was a neck-and-neck battle with the scores tied at 8-8 in the decider before Sandhu went up 9-8 with a stroke, reached match-ball when Mangaonkar hit the tin and took it away with another stroke.
Maharashtra duo Aditya Maheshwari and Amitpal Kohli set up the over-35 final, following exciting 3-2 wins that included Maheshwari upsetting top seed Saurabh Nayar of Chattisgarh 13-15, 10-12, 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 in a thriller and Kohli rallying to overcome Amit Chinai of Gujarat 8-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-1, 11-8 after trailing 0-2.
Paramjit Singh of Delhi shocked top seed Parthiban Ayyapan of Tamil Nadu 11-3, 11-3, 11-6 to set up the Professional Coach final against second seed Deepak Mishra of Tamil Nadu who beat Sanjay Pawar of Maharashtra 11-2, 11-3, 11-5.
Results: Women (Semi-finals):
Joshana Chinappa (TN) bt Akanksha Salunkhe (Goa) 11-6, 11-2, 11-4; Dipika Pallikal Karthik (TN) bt Sachika Ingale (UP) 11-6, 11-1, 11-4.
Saurav Ghosal (TN) bt Vikram Malhotra (Mah) 11-6, 5-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9; Harinderpal Singh Sandhu (TN) bt Mahesh Mangaonkar (Mah) bt 6-11, 13-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8.
Men over-35: Aditya Maheshwari (Mah) bt Saurabh Nayar (Cht) 13-15, 10-12, 11-4, 11-5, 11-7; Amitpal Kohli (Mah) bt Amit Chinai (Guj) 8-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-1, 11-8.
Professional Coach (SF):
Paramit Singh (Del) bt Parthiban Ayyapan (TN) 11-3, 11-3, 11-6; Deepak Mishra (TN) bt Sanjay Pawar (Mah) 11-2, 11-3, 11-5.
Sunday: 11 a.m. 73rd Senior National Squash Championship, at Otters Club