ISP Squash

The Leela Masters Squash Invitation for Top-16

  At Hotel The Leela, Mumbai : 25-1-97

Subhash Wali (Director,ISP), Paul Ferreira (Runners-up), Vivek Nair (MD, The Leela), Akhil Behl (Winner) & Mahendra Agarwal (Founder Director, ISP) at the prize distribution function held at hotel The Leela Hotel, Mumbai

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All Results

Akhil Behl beat Paul Ferreira
15-12, 9-15, 16-17, 15-10, 15-8

emi Finals:
Paul Ferreira beat Niraj Shirgaokar 15-13, 12-15, 15-9, 15-9
Akhil Behl beat Manish Chotrani 15-9, 15-9, 15-11

Quarter Finals:
Akhil Behl beat Vaman Apte 15-7, 13-15, 15-4, 15-5
Niraj Shirgaokar beat Anil Vaidya 15-13, 15-11, 13-15, 15-12
Manish Chotrani beat Avinash Bhavnani 15-13, 15-13, 15-13 


Press Articles of tournament : 

Paul advances past Carl 
(Article in Asian Age, Mumbai : 23/1/1997) 

The Leela Invitation Masters Squash began at the Leela Squash  courts on Wednesday. The day appeared to be a good one for Paul Ferriera, who had claimed the CCI open and the Hongkong Bank open titles last year. 

Playing against Carl Bokdawala, Paul faced little threat and was able to convert every opportunity to his advantage. Spectacular play by Paul Ferriera saw him take the first game 15-8. Paul went on to take the next two games 15-7 and 15-6. The son of legendary billiards player Michael Ferriera now advances to the pre-quarterfinals to be held on Thursday. 

In another match between Gaurav Juneja and Cyrus Poncha, Gaurav grabbed the match from Cyrus after an exciting decider battle. Gaurav dominated the first two games but Cyrus fought his way back into the game beating Gaurav in the next two games 15-9,15-11. 

With the scores tied at two games each, the match entered into the decider, a see-saw battle of points then began between the two. Both players fought hard in order to proceed to the next round. However, Cyrus lost two successive points to lose the match 13-15. It was an easy victory for  Manish Chotrani against Jatin Mehta. Jatin lost in straight games 7-15, 9-15, 7-15. 

Saket Wali’s battle went in vain after he lost the game to in straight sets to Avinash Bhavnani after a long battle. When Saket lost the first game it seemed that he would later fight back into the game. It was a close encounter in the second game which went in favour of Avinash who won the game 15-13. Avinash took the third game 15-3 to win the match.


Cyrus gallant in defeat 
(Article in FREE PRESS JOURNAL, Mumbai : 23/01/1997)

Mumbai: Trailing by two games up, fifth-seeded Cyrus Poncha fought back gallantly against seventh-seeded Gaurav Juneja but lost the decider narrowly to go down 12-15, 13-15, 15-9, 15-7, 13-15 in the first round (Open Class) of the Leela Masters Invitation Squash Tournament here on Wednesday.

Former junior national champion and top seed Paul Ferreira, in contrast had an easy outing against unseeded Carl Bokdawala and went on to register a straight forward 15-8, 15-7, 15-6 win.

Third-seeded Manish Chotrani too proved too good for unseeded Jatin Mehta and won without a sweat at 15-7, 15-9, 15-7. Fourth-seeded Niraj Shirgaokar however was forced to drop a game before getting the better of unseeded Nikhil Behl 15-13, 9-15, 15-10, 15-12 on way to the second round.

Miranda of Maharashtra moved into the men’s singles third round (above-45) of the Veteran’s National Badminton Championship at the Bombay Gymkhana on Wednesday.

In the second round matches, the Delhi shuttler crushed qualifier I.M.Rastogi of Uttar Pradesh 15-9, 15-6, while Miranda drubbed D. Gopalkrishnan of Pondicherry 15-1, 15-2.

Fourth-seeded H.K Singh of Maharashtra rallied well, after dropping the first game 11-15, to out unseeded D.P.Surti of Gujarat 11-15, 15-5, 15-10 while qualifier Shirish Nadkarni of Maharashtra too made a fine rally to send Ambrese of Andhra Pradesh packing 10-15, 15-11, 15-5.

Others who made it to the third round were Som Raj Gupta of Jammu and Kashmir, M.M Lalu of Karnataka, Vinay Singh of Manipur (all qualifiers).


Ferreira Shocked 
(Article in Times of India, Mumbai : 25/01/1997)

FERREIRA SHOCKED: second seeded Akhil Behl shocked top seeded Paul Ferreira 15-12, 9-15, 16-17, 15-10, 15-8 in the final of the Leela masters invitation squash tournament here on Saturday.

In a thrilling final replete with good stroke play, Behl, winner of the Asian Junior championship recently, pipped the former junior national champion. Behl won Rs.6500 for his effort while Ferreira had to be contend with Rs.5000/-.

In the contest for the third place, Niraj Shirgaokar beat Manish Chotrani 15-13, 14-15, 15-13, 15-13.


Poncha goes down fighting 
(Article in The Pioneer, Mumbai : 23/1/1997) 

Cyrus Poncha rallied from two down to take Gaurav Juneja to the decider, before losing a well-fought encounter in the opening round of The Leela Masters Squash Tournament, to which 16 of the city’s top players were invited. The event is being held under the auspices of Indian Squash Professional body was played at The Leela, here, on Wednesday. Juneja won 15-12, 15-13, 9-15, 11-15, 15-13. 

Paul Ferriera had things much his way against Carl Bokdawala winning 15-8, 15-7, 15-6.


Ferriera to play 
(Article in Free Press Journal, Mumbai : 22/1/1997) 

Former junior national champion Paul Ferriera, reigning junior national champion Akhil Behl, Gaurav Juneja and Rohan Juneja from part of the 16 man draw for the Rs.25,000 prize money Leela Masters Invitation Squash Championship which is getting under way here on Wednesday. 

The tournament is to conclude on January 25, a release stated on Tuesday. 

Other prominent names in the invited Cyrus Poncha, who has drawn Singapore junior Open under-16 champion Gaurav Juneja as his first round opponent, Niraj Shirgaokar and Yogesh Panchal, who meets Behl in the opening round.


Spectacular Behl, Ferreira at Leela 
(Article in Asian Age, Mumbai : 22/01/1997)

Mumbai, Jan 21: The Leela Group, which owns and manages two of the finest 5 star deluxe properties in India. The Leela Mumbai and the Leela Beach, Goa, will be organizing a four-day squash tournament The Leela Squash Masters spectacular. The tournament will be held at The Finest & Racquets center at The Leela, Mumbai, on January 22, 23, and 24.

The tournament is being played by invitation only to the top ten players. Some of the top Indian squash players like Paul Ferreira, the junior national champion 1995 and the Maharashtra State champion, Akhil Behl, winner of the Asian Junior national champion 1996, Gaurav Juneja, the U-16 Singapore Junior Open Squash winner and the runners-up at the U-16 Malaysian Grand Finals, and Rohan Juneja, the runners-up and the Hong Kong Open and the Singapore Open.

The game will be played on American points, a rolling trophy and a cash prize of Rs.25,000/- has been declared. Trophies will also be distributed to the winners.

The Leela group has earlier sponsored many other squash events such as The Leela squash spectacular, which had two top International players Peter Marshall, the world number 2, and Brett Martin, the world number3, and The President’s squash cup tournament which was played at the Leela’s air conditioned glass back squash court.


Ferreira Sweeps Into Leela Final 
(Article In Indian Express, Mumbai : 24/01/1997)

FORMER junior national champion and top seed Paul Ferreira one game before subduing the spirited challenge of No.7 Gaurav Juneja 15-9, 12-15, 15-11, 15-5 in a semifinal of the Leela squash Masters invitation tournament here today. The inform Juneja, who won the recent Singapore Junior open and finished runner-up at the Malaysian Grand, succumbed to Ferreira, who played to plan to emerge victorious.


Ferreira to clash with Akhil Behl in finals 
(Article in Asian Age, Mumbai : 25/01/1997)

Mumbai, Jan 24: Top seed Paul Ferreira and Akhil Behl made their way into the finals of the Leela Invitation Masters Squash Tournament organized by the Indian Squash Professionals and being held at The Leela squash court here on Friday.

Akhil Behl defeated Manish Chotrani 15-9, 15-9, 15-11 in the semifinals match. Manish was no match for Akhil who has previously won the Asian Junior Perrier squash in Malaysian in 1995 and was the junior national squash champion in 1996. Akhil showed his a superior game right from the beginning of the first game. Manish’s weak point was well noted by the champion and taken full advantage of Manish also had a lot of problems with the tin. Akhil faced a bit of a threat in the third game. The fight lasted for quite a long time but later went in favour of Akhil who won the game and the match 15-11 to make his way into the finals to be played on Saturday afternoon. In the other semifinals, Paul Ferreira defeated Niraj Shirgaokar on his way to the finals.


Winners all: Behl, Ferreira, Vaidya 
(Article in Asian Age, Mumbai : 24/01/1997)

Mumbai, Jan, 23: Anil Vaidya rallied his way back into the game to win the crucial quarterfinal match 15-12, 13-15, 14-15, 15-6, 15-3. against Mangesh Nadkarni in the rs.25,000/- prize money Leela Masters squash Tournament organized by Indian squash professionals held at Leela squash court on Thursday.

It was an exciting encounter between the two players. Anil won the first game 15-12 after a long battle. Mangesh made his way back winning the second and the third game courageously. The way Mangesh won the game it seemed that he would easily take the third game and the match. But Anil proved himself better after winning the remaining two games 15-6, 15-13.

In another quarterfinal Paul Ferreira as expected moved into the semifinal after he defeated Gaurav Juneja 15-9, 12-15, 15-11, 15-5. He was taken to four games before he got better of his opponent. Gaurav could prove his game only in the second game where he defeated Paul 15-12.

In the third quarterfinal Akhil Behl enjoyed a straight games victory over his opponent Yogesh Panchal. Yogesh could not play to the potentials of Akhil losing the match 2-15, 10-15, 15-10.

The winner will earn Rs.6,500/- while the runner-up will be awarded with Rs.5,000/-.


19th Tournament Organised by ISP