Indian Nationals 2016

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India National Squash Champs 2016
12-17 Jul, Otters Club, Mumbai

17-July, Finals:

Saurav Ghosal 3-2 Harinderpal Singh Sandhu
11-7, 7-11, 3-11, 11-8, 14-12 (88m)
Dipika Pallikal
3-1 Joshna Chinappa
4-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-8 (43m)

Dipika & Saurav clinch Titles

Men’s top seed Saurav Ghosal earned a record 11th national title, while women’s second seed Dipika Pallikal bagged her second national crown, in the Otters Club 73rd Senior National Squash Championship.

Ghosal, ranked No. 17 in the world, fashioned a 11-7, 7-11, 3-11, 11-8, 14-12 victory over 2014 champion and fourth seed Harinderpal Singh Sandhu in a pulsating championship round that lasted a marathon 88 minutes.

Second seed and world No. 19 Pallikal ignored an indifferent start to overcome top seed and defending champion Joshna Chinappa 4-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-8 in a women’s championship round that lasted 43 minutes.

In a high quality contest that could have gone either way, Ghosal, who broke R.K. Narpat Singh’s record of 10 titles, once again used his experience and vast repertoire of strokes at crucial junctures to snatch vital points.

After winning the opening game, Ghosal fell behind when Sandhu raced to a 2-1 advantage. But the defending champion recovered brilliantly in the crucial fourth game by winning five points in a row after trailing 6-7.

It was a humdinger in the decider in a fierce battle for supremacy as the two reached 10-all after Sandhu saved three match balls, until Ghosal snatched victory over extra points in a gripping finish.

“There was very little to separate us,” explained Ghosal. “Both played well right through the match. It is the hardest thing to play Harinderpal. It was one of the most enjoyable and high quality matches I’ve ever played.”

Chinappa, ranked No. 10 in the world, got off to a dream start and was rewarded for willing to play the short balls and use the sidewalls to good effect. She seized the opportunities that came her way in the opening game with delightful shots from everywhere to leave Pallikal stranded.

But Pallikal, who last won the national title in 2011, changed the complexion of the game with impressive shots in the second game to get back into the match. Chinappa, who lost to her arch-rival in the $25,000 Granite Open in Toronto, Canada in February 2015, turned defensive in the third set and let the early advantage slip from her grasp.

Pallikal raced to a 7-2 lead in the crucial fourth game until Chinappa closed in at 7-8 to raise hopes of a humdinger. But Pallikal did not leave it for the decider and won three points in a row to take the match away and deny Chinappa her 15th national crown.

“There was no solid game plan,” explained a delighted Pallikal. “I just wanted to keep the ball in and win as many points as possible. We’ve had many close battles on court in the past. We are attacking players and both have similar games. This has been a satisfying victory since it’s come after a long time. We now look forward to defending the gold at the Commonwealth Games in two years for which we have already started training.”

“I think I got too defensive in the second and third games,” reasoned Chinappa. “Dipika stepped up the pressure and hit good winners while I wasn’t playing the game I really wanted to play. I was excited to play at the Otters Club and wanted to display a good match.”

16-Jul, Semis:
Joshana, Dipika to clash in final,
Sandhu strokes out Mangaonkar

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.

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.

Men (Semi-finals): 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.

15-Jul, Quarters:
Malhotra storms into semis

Third seed Vikram Malhotra of Mumbai rallied from a 1-2 deficit to snatch a thrilling win over Tamil Nadu’s Kush Kumar to storm into the men’s semi-finals, in the Otters Club 73rd Senior National Squash Championship, on Friday.

US-based Malhotra, ranked 73 in the world, warmed up with a promising start by winning the opening game in the best-of-five contest, before Kumar came back to win the next two in one of the most exciting matches of the day.

But Malhotra, a recent winner of the Malaysian Tour 2016 Leg I, a $5K PSA world tour event in Malaka, the Florida State Open and runner-up at the Samson Seattle Squash Open, another PSA Tour event, snatched the crucial fourth in a tight finish before holding on to a marginal lead in a close decider to set up a clash with top seed and defending champion Saurav Ghosal.

Second seed Mahesh Mangaonkar, a winner of the PSA $15,000 Sekisui Open, a $15,000 PSA world tour event in Kriens, Switzerland, will take on fourth seed Harinderpal Singh Sandhu in the other semi-final.

Third seed Sachika Ingale of UP recovered from 0-2 to snatch the decider over extra points in a thrilling women’s pre-quarter-finals. Staring at defeat, Ingale relied on experience to get back into the match by clinching the third and fourth games to force the decider. In a contest that could have gone either way, a determined Bhattacharya stretched her accomplished opponent all the way in a neck-and-neck final game before Ingale took it away, in the other absorbing match of the day.

Later, the top four advanced to the semi-finals as Ingale set up a clash with second seed Dipika Pallikal, while top seed and defending champion Joshana Chinappa faces fourth seed Akanksha Salunkhe of Goa who came through a hard-fought 12-10, 11-9, 11-5 quarter-final win over Urwashi Joshi of JSW.

Results: Men (Quarter-finals): Saurav Ghosal (TN) bt Vijay Kumar (TN) 11-8, 11-2, 11-6; Vikram Malhotra (Mah) bt Kush Kumar (TN) 11-5, 8-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-7; Harinderpal Singh Sandhu (TN) bt Ravi Dixit (TN) 11-6, 11-7, 11-3; Mahesh Mangaonkar (Mah) bt Velavan Senthilkumar (TN) 11-4, 11-6, 11-6.

Women (Quarter-finals): Joshana Chinappa (TN) bt Jui Kalgutkar (Mah) 11-5, 11-6, 11-4; Akanksha Salunkhe (Goa) bt Urwashi Joshi (Mah) 12-10, 11-9, 11-5; Sachika Ingale (UP) bt Adya Advani (Del) 11-5, 11-4, 11-8; Dipika Pallikal Karthik (TN) bt Lakshya Ragavendran (TN) 11-3, 11-4, 11-4.

Pre-quarter-finals: Joshana Chinappa (TN) bt Ananya Dabke 11-6, 11-3, 11-5; Jui Kalgutkar bt Jannat Duhan (Ch) 11-5, 11-0, 11-3; Urwashi Joshi bt Mayuri Namasivayam (TN) 11-6, 11-5, 11-4; Akanksha Salunkhe (Goa) bt Aishwarya Khubchandani 11-7, 11-5, 11-3; Sachika Ingale (UP) bt Aishwarya Bhattacharya 13-15, 9-11, 11-7, 11-0, 14-12; Adya Advani (Del) bt Aryaa Ogale 11-4, 11-6, 11-3; Lakshya Ragavendran (TN) bt Anannya Morey 11-2, 11-5, 11-7; Dipika Pallikal Karthik (TN) bt Avani Nagar 11-2, 11-1, 11-3.

Nandrajog stretches Sandhu

Fourth seed Harinderpal Singh Sandhu was taken the distance by qualifier Gaurav Nandrajog of Delhi before snatching an exciting win in the men’s pre-quarter-final as the main draw got under way, in the Otters Club 73rd Senior National Squash Championship, on Thursday.

A gallant Nandrajog, runner-up in the 2006 nationals, came close to fashioning the competition’s first significant upset before Sandhu rallied to a hard-fought 11-3, 11-6, 8-11, 4-11, 11-1 win to set up his next clash with state mate Ravi Dixit.

While Sandhu battled hard for victory, the other favourites were led into the quarter-finals by world No. 17 and defending champion Saurav Ghosal who kicked off his campaign with an untroubled 11-3, 11-5, 11-8 win over qualifier Ranjit Singh of UP.

Women’s defending champion and top seed Joshana Chinappa and second seed Dipika Pallikal Karthik also warmed up with fluent first round wins. The other significant winners were third seed Sachika Ingale of UP and fourth seed Akanksha Salunkhe of Goa.

Mumbai girls Ananya Dabke, Jui Kalgutkar, Urwashi Joshi, Aishwarya Khubchandani, Aishwarya Bhattacharya, Aryaa Ogale and Anannya Morey also eased into the second round.

 Saurav Ghosal addresses the media at the press conference

Results: Women (2nd Rd): Joshana Chinappa (TN) bt Machuma Begam Choudhury (Tr) 11-3, 11-0, 11-0; Ananya Dabke bt Sarah Vethekar 11-9, 11-2, 11-3; Jui Kalgutkar bt Manisha G. (Br) 11-0, 11-0, 11-0; Urwashi Joshi bt Anna Avasthi (Del) 11-5, 11-6, 11-5; Mayuri Namasivayam (TN) bt Neha Kumari (Br) 11-1, 11-1, 11-0; Aishwarya Khubchandani bt Manisha Bisht (Utk) 11-5, 11-2, 11-2; Akanksha Salunkhe (Goa) bt Shikha Kumari (Br) 11-0, 11-3, 11-0; Sachika Ingale (UP) bt Henna Muzafar (JK) 11-0, 11-3, 11-0; Aishwarya Bhattacharya bt Sunidhi Pandey (Cg) 11-2, 11-2, 11-1; Aryaa Ogale bt K. Tamanna (UP) 11-2, 11-2, 11-1; Adya Advani (Del) bt Sweta Budhia (Jhk) 11-0, 11-0, 11-1; Lakshya Ragavendran (TN) bt Sunny Mehta (Br) 11-0, 11-2, 11-3; Anannya Morey bt Sushmita Panigrahi (Goa) 11-7, 11-6, 11-8; Dipika Pallikal Karthik (TN) bt Nitu Sharma (JK) 11-0, 11-1, 11-0.

Men: Pre-quarter-finals: Saurav Ghosal (TN) bt Ranjit Singh (UP) 11-3, 11-5, 11-8; Vijay Kumar (TN) bt Veer Chotrani (Mah) 11-5, 11-2, 11-7; Vikram Malhotra (Mah) bt Sandeep Jangra (Del) 11-7, 11-3, 11-9; Harinderpal Singh Sandhu (TN) bt Gaurav Nandrajog (Del) 11-3, 11-6, 8-11, 4-11, 11-1; Ravi Dixit (TN) bt Krish Kapur (WB) 12-10, 11-6, 11-8; Velavan Senthilkumar (TN) bt Aryaman Adik (Mah) 11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5; Mahesh Mangaonkar (Mah) bt Abhishek Pradhan (Mah) 11-3, 11-9, 11-5.

Final Qualifying Rd: Ranjit Singh (UP) bt Rishi Jalan (Del) 8-11, 11-5, 11-3, 12-14, 11-4; Veer Chotrani bt Maninderpal Singh Sandh (Pun) 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8; Siddharth Suchde bt Robin Singh Mann (Del) 11-2, 11-6, 11-3; Sandeep Jangra (Del) bt Guhan Senthilkumar (TN) 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-3; Gaurav Nandrajog (Del) bt Hiteshwar Singh Riar (Cg) 11-7, 11-4, 11-6; Krish Kapur (WB) bt Ashish Keskar 11-4, 11-4, 11-8; Aryaman Adik bt Advait Adik 11-5, 13-15, 11-7, 11-8; Abhishek Pradhan bt Adhitya Raghavan (TN) 11-4, 11-9, 12-10.

Match Replays

All Plans Squashed


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