Maharashtra revenue minister, Narayan Rane said squash
professionals would get all support from the state government in respect of
awards and housing facilities on par with other sportspersons. Speaking as
chief guest at the prize distribution ceremony of Videocon Squash Classic
here last night, Rane said the government would help promote the game to
Rane gave away the cash prize of Rs.15,000 to Mekhala
Subedar, winner of women’s title while Chandrakant Pawar, winner of
Professionals title while received Rs.25,000, Udai Singh, winner of the
men’s title, and Rohan Bappu, winner of boys under-19 title got Rs.25,000
and Rs.15,000 respectively.
Chairman of the Indian Squash Professionals (ISP) and
collector of Sindhudurg, Vijay Kumar build a sports complex in the
government’s assistance for the Gautam said ISP was planning to mega polis
and sought the state government’s assistance for the purpose.
The Maharashtra revenue minister, Mr. Narayan Rane,
said professional sportsperson would get all support from the government in
the matter of awards and housing facilities. He was speaking on the occasion
of the prize distribution of the Rs.4 lakh inaugural Videocon Squash
Classic at Juhu last Monday.
The richest tournament staged by a non-official body,
the Indian Squash Professionals, saw professional Chandrakant Pawar get the
same prize money Rs.25,000 as the men’s winner Udai Singh.
Mr. Rane said squash was unknown to a lot many people
and he welcomed the suggestion of Vijay Gautam, chairman of the ISPA, to
build public courts to spread the game far and wide, Mr. Gautam, collector
of Sindhudurg listed the achievements of the fledgling body the ISPA, saying
that in a short span of three years it had staged nearly 25 events all over
On behalf of the player Udai Singh said the players
needed such tournaments to motivate them to work hard and train all year
Squash in the city has received a big boost eight
Videocon, the sponsors of the fourth National Games, sponsoring the Videocon
Squash challenge to the tune of Rs.4 lakhs. The event will be held at the
Otters Club, Bandra, from June 23rd to 29th .
Akhil Behl, Niraj Shirgaokar, Paul Ferriera, Rajdeep
Brar and national runner-up Udai Singh are some of the big names expected to
take part in this event.
Among the women India number two Mekhala Subedar of
Deolali, and Mumbai’s Parineeta Chaudhary and Krishma Juneja will be
participating in the tournament.
Evergreen Chandrakant Pawar will lead the challenge
in the professional section. Santosh More, Anant More and Gopi Mohite will
provide Pawar a stiff challenge.
The men’s and professionals winners will receive
Rs.25,000 apiece, the women’s and the juniors (under-19) champion will get
A stupendous performance by Jigisha Mehta of Juhu
Vile Parle Gymkhana in the last game helped her return victorious from the
brink of defeat, as women played their first round in the videocon Classic
Squash organised by Indian Squash Professional, played at the Otters club
here on Wednesday. Jigisha won 9-4, 8-10, 9-4, 5-9, 10-8.
Jigisha got of to a good start to stage a
comfortable win game. She outplayed Sapna allowing her opponent just 4
points. There was a bit of excitement in the second game when Sapna,
trailing her rival, recovered her touch to clinch the game and level the
scores at 1-1.
However, in the third game Jigisha, taking an early
lead, shored to 9-4 victory, putting enough pressure on Sapna to prepare
herself for an easy victory in the fourth game. However, Sapna staged a
superb rally squashing her opponents hopes of an early victory. She fought
back to snatch the game when Jigisha was leading 4-2 and was on her way to
victory. Sapna equalized 4-4.
The score being leveled, the game score dawdled at
4-4 for more than 5 minutes until Sapna not able to control her shot bumped
into the tin giving Jigisha a chance to move ahead taking the score to 5-4.
However, Sapna was able to back the serve and then did not give any chance
thereafter and picked up points until she claimed a 9-5.
The last game failed to produce the right kind of
intensity that could bring the spectators to the edge of their seats. Sapna
picked up points at regular intervals and was leading at 5-1 requiring just
4 points to enter the next round. However, again the tin played the
spoilsport for Sapna. Jigisha then managed to close the wide gap. Sapna
again picked points and stood there knocking the doors of victory with 8-4.
Jigisha who had Boys category Mihir Kapoor defeated
Soni Juneja in straight games, 9-1, 9-5, 9-0. However, the victory was not
an easy for Mihir as the scores suggest. Mihir had to fight for every points
even overcome the huge crowd support for Soni..
The seeded brothers Rohan and Gaurav Juneja offered
tremendous support to their sibling using all the tricks they possessed.
However, nothing could deny Mihir a victory.
However, in the second game, Mihir felt the
pressure. Leading 5-2, he lost his concentration and Soni, egged on by his
supporters, took advantage to level the scores at 5-5. However, Mihir,
showing good temperament, relieved himself from the pressure and bagged the
second game 9-5, Mihir, continued in the same vein in the third game won the
battle after 33 minutes.
Second Seed Amitpal Kohli and fifth seed Rohan
Juneja moved into the second round of the under-19 boy’s event in the Rs.
Four lakh Videocon squash tournament, here today.
Kohli blanked Vishwas Das 9-0, 9-0, 9-3 while Juneja
had little difficulty in getting past Nitin Bhosle 9-1, 9-0,9-3 in the first
round. Junaid Nathani, however, was stretched to overcome Kshitij Nowahar
9-6, 4-9, 2-9, 9-3, 9-6 to join Kohli and Juneja in the second round.
Shalok Melvani beat Suraj Shetty to enter the second
round in another under-19 encounter. In a men’s first round clash, Cyrus
Poncha got past Premal Javeri 9-0, 9-3, 9-7 while in a women’s first-round
encounter Jigisha Mehta edged past Sapna Jalan with a hard fought 9-4, 8-10,
9-4, 5-9, 10-8 victory.
In two other women’s opening round matches, Farida
Tata eliminated Nisrat Madraswala 9-1, 9-5, 9-7 and Supriya Balsekar beat
Rashna Patnaik 9-5, 9-3, 7-9, 9-4.
Udai Singh and Akhil Behl will contest the men’s
title as well as the top prize of Rs.25,000 in the Rs.4 lakh Videocon Squash
Classic. Both made the grade with a measure of comfort at the Otters Club,
Udai Singh, the top seed, encountered little
resistance from Paul Ferreira before winning 9-5, 9-6, 9-1, while Behl,
though he lost the opening game, picked himself and went on to put out
Manish Chotrani, 3-9, 9-6, 9-0, 9-6.
Earlier, 16 year old Gaurav Juneja stole the show
when he downed second seed Amit Pal Kohli. It earned him a place in the boys
under-19 final and gave him the chance to earn the biggest pay cheque of his
young career, a whooping Rs.15,000.
A game down Gaurav fought back strongly to be home
at 4-9, 9-3, 9-2, 9-7. In the second and third he was in full flow,
establishing a lead of 7-0 in both. However, Kohli fought for all his worth
in the fourth but Gaurav hung on to clinch the issue.
“I had not played a stiff match till the semi-final
and I was feeling tired after the first game because I was not well,” Kohli
Gaurav’s victory compensated for the loss of his
twin brother Rohan, who was outgunned and outplayed by the tall and strongly
built top seed, Rohan Bappu. It was only in the third game Bappu was tested
but he made it it over a 1-5 deficit to win 9-1, 9-3, 9-5.
The women’s final will see Mekhala Subedar and Rhea Bhandare slug it out in the cage.
Mekhala, in her semi-final, was a too good for
Deepika Chandratreya and was home, 9-1, 9-2, 9-0. Rhea Bhandare, just13,
reached the women’s final for the first time with a 9-4, 9-4, 9-1 win over Sarita Jethwani.
The uncrowned king in the professionals arena,
Chandrakant Pawar duly made the final, beating Ramesh More 9-1, 9-0, 9-2.
Chandrakant’s bid for the winner’s purse of
Rs.25,000 will be contested by Gopi Mohite who followed up his victory over
third seed Anant More on Friday with a 9-7, 9-6, 9-6 win over Anant’s
Rohan Bappu advanced into the final of the junior
Boys Under-19 category, ousting Rohan Juneja in the semi finals of the
Rs.4,00,000 Videocon Squash Classic Championship played at the Otters club
here on Saturday. Bappu defeated Juneja in straight games 9-1, 9-3, 9-5.
However, the delineation of the match was completely
different from the score-line. It was a well fought contest between the two
player for a berthing the finals. Rohan who on Friday had clinched an
unexpected victory over Parth Doshi, seemed to have jaded with the effort.
The match saw numerous appeals by the two players
and also some argument with the referee Chandrakant Pawar. The first game
that Bappu won 9-1 was no childs play. Even though he bagged points
regularly he had to go overcome juneja’s energetic performance. Although
Juneja claimed the only point when Bappu was with a comfortable lead of 7
points and on his way to bag the first game, the former did not concede an
easy victory to his antagonist.
It was neck-to-neck combat between the two players
in the second game. Juneja playing well enough, initially took the lead of
3-1. However, Bappu retaliated with unbelievable drops and also awarded in
his favour. Suddenly everything seemed to be going in Bappu’s favour. His
drops and placings were unrivalled as compared to Juneja’s At times Juneja’s
plea for a stroke-play was also turned down by the refree. Gradually
Bappu’s tethered his opponent to surrender at the score-line of 9-3.
Juneja had to produced something
exceptional in the
third game, which was very crucial for him. Bappu played with excellence,
taking an early lead of five points. He felt he had the game in his pocket
but Juneja fought back with great vigour. He fought for every single point.
Bappu missed some unexpected returns, hit the ball outside the court,
couldn’t get hold of some of excellent drops, and all these small blunders
helped Juneja equalize.
However, Bappu captured the serve back from Juneja
when the latter was penalized for stroke play penalty when Bappu was
serving for the game and match ball claimed victory and a furlough to finals
of the championship.
In on other Junior Boys semi final Gaurav Juneja
endured a thumping victory over second seed Amitpal Kohli. Gaurav will now
avenge his brother’s (Rohan Juneja) defeat when he meets Rohan Bappu in the
finals. He now has a chance to earn the biggest pay cheque of his career, a
huge amount of Rs.15,000.
A game down, Gaurav fought back strongly to be home
at 4-9, 9-3, 9-2, 9-7. In the second and the third he was in full flow,
establishing a lead of 7-0 in both games. However, Kohli fought for all his
worth in the fourth but Gaurav hung on to clinch the issue.
In the men’s first semi final Akhil Behl recovered
from the first game defeat and bagged the remaining games (3-9, 9-6, 9-0,
9-6) to face Udai Singh in the finals. Udai defeated Paul Ferreira 9-3, 9-4,
9-4 win over Sarita Jethwani.
The uncrowned king in the professionals event
Chandrakant Pawar duly reached the final, brushing aside Ramesh More, 9-1,
9-2, 9-3 His bid for the winners purse of Rs.25,000 will be disputed by Gopi
Mohite who defeated Santosh More 9-7, 9-6, 9-6.
Second seed Amitpal Kohli and fifth seed Rohan
Juneja advanced into the second round of the under-19 boy’s event by
notching up facile first-round wins in the Rs Four-lakh Videocon Squash
Classic tournament here today, reports PTI.
Kohli drubbed Vishwas Das 9-0, 9-0, 9-0 while Juneja
trounced Nitin Bhosle 9-1, 9-0, 9-3 in the first round. Junaid Nathani,
however, had to struggle hard to overcome the challenge of Kshitij Nowahar
9-6, 4-9, 2-9, 9-3, 9-6.
In a men’s first round clash, Cyrus Poncha got past
Premal Javeri 9-0, 9-3, 9-7 while in a women’s first round encounter Jigisha
Mehta scraped past Sapna Jalan with a hard-fought 9-4, 8-10, 9-4, 5-9, 10-8
In two other women’s opening round ties, Farida Tata
ousted Nisrat Madraswala 9-1, 9-5, 9-7 and Supriya Balsekar got the better
of Rashna Patnaik 9-5, 9-3, 7-9, 9-4.
Sixth seeded Rohan Juneja shocked fourth seed and
former under-16 national Champion Parth Doshi 9-1, 7-9, 2-9, 9-6, 9-6 on way
to the boy’s under-19 semi-finals of the Videocon Squash Classic at the
Otters Club here yesterday.
Top seeded Rohan Bappu beat unseeded Aftab Mathur
9-5, 9-0, 9-3 to enter the last four stage.
In the Women’s section, top seeded Mekhala Subedar,
who is the only seed remaining in the play, drubbed unseeded Deepali Anvekar
9-2, 9-1, 9-2 on way to the semi final berths were filled by unseeded
Saritha Jatwani beat giant killer Jagisha Mehta 9-2,
2-9, 9-7, 9-6, while Rhea Bhandare defeated Chandrapriya crushed unseeded
Faridha Tata 9-1, 9-2, 9-3 to enter the semi finals.
It turned out to be the day’s most exciting as
Vikram Das earned a hard-fought and well-deserved victory over Rahul Shah in
the Junior Boy’s under-19 category of the Rs.4,00,000 Videocon Squash
Classic championship played at the Otter’s Club here on Tuesday. Vikram won
the encounter 9-5, 10-8, 9-7.
Vikram faced the short statured Rahul in a tough
draw, as Rahul is known to spring a few surprises. He has a tough time in
outplaying the little master as Rahul would pop up to equalize every time
Vikram took a lead. In the first game itself Vikram started with the serve
and took an early lead. However, he hit the tin quite often, giving Rahul a
chance to equalize. When Vikram stood ahead with 5-3, his unwanted errors
brought Rahul back to equalize at 5-5.
“I lost concentration towards the end of every game;
some stupid mistakes cost me all three games,” said a tired Rahul, while
speaking to The Asian Age later. However, in the second game, Rahul did show
some potential for fighting back into the game. Rahul scored points one
after the other till he had taken a lead of 4-1. When leading at 2-0, the
game was dragged for quite a long time.
But in due time Vikram
equalized. The see-saw battle
of points reached a head when both players stood at par 8-8. Rahul, in a
bid to make his opponent run for the ball, hit the tin to make it 8-9 and
then struck the ball over the marked line to lose the game 8-10.
The third game was played in a similar fashion with
Rahul taking an early lead. Rahul was well ahead with three (5-3) points
when Vikram caught up to make it 4-5. Rahul, however, played some good shots
to maintain the lead. Vikram, filled with an intense desire to win, caught
up with Rahul at 7 and then bagged the next two points to win the match.
After the match, Vikram confessed that he did not play the game he usually
plays and also admitted that Rahul was a better competitor and he expected
and initially took the game quite lightly.
When Anurag Gill, a seventh standard student, came
into the court for his match against collegian Vicky Singh, if seemed an
encounter between David and Goliath, with the ant challenging the elephant.
Even though Vicky enjoyed an easy victory against Anurag, he went into the
match warily, not inclined to under estimate his opponent.
However once Vicky started scoring points, Anurag
did not get a chance to prove his talent. Anurag was defeated in straight
games 9-1, 9-1, 9-2. A tardy approach for the ball led to Anurag’s defeat.
Just back from the US on school holiday, Jamshid Pandole won a hard match
against Pune number one Rohit Thadani to qualify for the men’s event.
Down two games to one, Pandole came back strongly to
win 9-3, 5-9, 7-9, 9-1, 9-5. The match lasted almost for an hour. “It took
me some time to get adjusted to the conditions and humidity here,” said
Pandole complimented his opponent. “He played well. Both were getting tired
towards the end . I just managed to pull it off”. A leading junior from
Mumbai two years ago, Pandole, 20, is studying business management at Frankly
& Marshall who finished fifth at the US inter-collegiate. He now runs into
his collegemate, Vinay Asthana.
Just back from the US on a short holiday, Jamshid
Pandole won a difficult match against Pune’s no. One Rohit Thadani to
qualify for the men’s event of the Rs.4 lakh Videocon Squash Classic, the
richest ever tournament in the country, at the Otters Club on Tuesday.
Down two games to one, Pandole came back strongly to
win, 9-3, 5-9, 7-9, 9-1 and 9-5 the match lasting almost an hour.
A leading junior from Mumbai two years ago, Pandole,
20, is studying business management at Franklyn & Marshall who finished fifth
at the US inter-collegiate level, now runs into Vinay Asthana.
Another player who has undertaken a long trip,
Jaikaran Juneja, made it to the main draw of the boys under-19. The fourteen
year old who had come from Singapore had to play the qualifying as the
organizers were unsure of his arrival.
Juneja overwhelmed Viraj Shah in straight games and
now takes on Mihir Kapoor. In another close match, Cyrus Warden downed
Roshan Kripal 9-2, 9-7, 6-9, 9-0.
There was a big surprise in the men’s section when
seasoned Rajdeep Brar went down to Manish Chotrani in straight games in the
quarter finals of the Rs.4 lakh Videocon Squash Classic being played at the
Otters Club’s air-conditioned court on Friday.
Brar, seeded third, was totally outplayed by sixth
seed, Chotrani. The scores were 9-2, 9-1, 9-7.
The match was expected to be a close one, but it
turned it out to be one-sided. Chotrani troubled Brar with his nagging
length, and he played some splendid volleys from the forecourt. He also made
good use of the sidewall boast. Brar has often been known for his tenacity.
He wears down his opponent with accuracy. But ob Friday he was off-colour,
and his shots often found the tin.
Fourth seed Paul
Ferreira played to the gallery but
was still good enough to beat Yogesh Panchal. Paul had to erase a 4-8
deficit to win in straight games.
Top seed Udai Singh had little difficulty getting
past Rishad Billimoria in another encounter.
Earlier in the day, Rohan Juneja scrapped past Parth
Doshi in a seed saw encounter. Rohan Bappu in the Boys under-19 semi finals
while second seed Amitpal Kohli takes on Gaurav Juneja.
The women’s semi finals pits top seed Makhala
Subedar against evergreen Deepika Chandratreya while Sarita Jethwani runs
into Rhea Bhandare. Sarita ended the giant killing run of Jigisha Mheta in
the Quarter finals.
For the second day in a row, Jigisha Mehta had to
battle hard to win in the women’s section of Rs. four lakh Videocon Squash
Classic being played at the Otters Club’s air-conditioned court on Thursday.
Jigisha upset third seed Karishma Juneja in five
games in a second round match. Jigisha won 9-2, 9-3, 6-9, 6-9, 9-7. Jigisha
had beaten Sapna Jalan on Wednesday also in five games.
Second seed Parineeta
Choudhari fell to a rather
surprising 2-9, 1-9, 1-9. An unwell Parineeta caved in with out a fight.
In the men’s section, it was smooth sailing for
second seed Akhil Behl. HE hardly had to break a sweat as he eased past
Vineet Asthana 9-2, 9-3, 9-3. Asthana, who studies at Frankin and Marshall
University in the U.S., did not have the wherewithal to trouble the second
seed. He did briefly lead in the third game 3-0, but Akhil leveled scores
quickly and went onto clinch the match without losing another point.
Vineet’s twin brother, Vinay, meta similar fate as he went down to Paul
Ferreira 4-9, 3-9, 7-9.
Rishad Billimoria who studies at Harvard and is here
on holiday easily brushed aside Avinash Bhavnani 9-3, 9-4, 9-5. Yogesh
Panchal also had it beating Darab Khan in straight games 9-0, 9-3, 9-4.
The Videocon Squash Classic which carries Rs.4 lakh
in prize-money, the richest in the country, has acted as a catalyst to the
players. Ample evidence of it could be had from the number of entries for
the qualifying rounds which got underway on Monday.
As many as 64 players are aspiring for a place in
the men’s main draw, while the under-19 event has 48 in the qualifying
competition. In the professionals event too there is stiff competition with
14 vying for a berth in the tournament proper.
Only the fourth event, the women’s has no
preliminary competition but then the 23 player in the fray form the highest
number of entries, more than even what the National Championship had
In view the large number of entries the qualifying
rounds are being held on a knock-out basis and at three venues, the Otters
Club, the Willingdon Catholic Gymkhana and the Khar Gymkhana.
The men have been divided into 16 groups of four
each with the winner of each group going through. In the boys under-19 there
are 16 groups of three each and in the professionals event, eight groups of
The enthusiasm among the leading lights too can be
gauged from the fact that Udai Singh, the runner-up at the last National and
top-seed for the under-19 event, have come all the way from Singapore.
Three good players not get a direct entry, Rohit
Thadani, the Pune number one, Mangesh Nadkarni and Jamshed Pandole,
predictably had an easy outing in the opening round of the men’s qualifying.
While Thadani beat Sunil Raheja 3-0, and Jamshed
Pandole won likewise against Suresh Ramchandani, Nadkarni did not concede a
single point Rana Jagwani.
Among the professionals, three Tambes, not related,
made it to the main draw. They were Kishore Tambe (CCI), Vilas Tambe (Khar
Gym), and Devdas Tambe (Bombay Gymkhana). Joining them were Vijay Sonawane,
Ajaz Mohammad, R.G. Begum and Kishore Bamania.
Mumbai, June 26: Gaurav Mittal, the fourth seed
put an end to Vicky Singh’s winning spree in the Junior Boy’s U-19 event of
the Rs.4, 00,000/- Videocon Classic Squash Championship prevailing in
straight games at the Otters Club, Bandra, here on Thursday.
Jigisha Mehta survived yet another round making her way
back into the game after trailing 4-7 in the decider, to beat Karishma
In a match which was a lot tougher than the scoreline
suggests, Mittal had a tough time against his spirited rival. The first game
which lasted for nearly 10 minutes, did not entirely belong to the fourth
seed. Though Gaurav took the game 9-3, Vicky Singh was hot in pursuit of his
ranked rival. Inspite of taking an early lead of 4-1, Gaurav was held by
unseeded Vicky, who fought back to within a point of Mittal at 3-4. The
score dawdled at 5-3 for quite some time as Gaurav tried to widen the gap
and Vicky was trying his best to equalize. The scoreline remained unchanged
for more than five minutes, with Gaurav eventually breaking the deadlock as
Vicky’s backhand dipped into the tin. Gaurav than scored points regularly
until he won the game 9-3.
Vicky, who seemed not to be used to the pressure
situations of this kind, crumbles in the second game, scoring a paltry 2
points as he made a number of unforced errors.
However, the situation changed again in the third game
as Vicky made a spirited challenge to survive in the match. Gaurav found
Vicky’s presence a bit tough in the third game. While Gaurav was on his way
to bag the third game and the match. Vicky retaliated with a superlative
performance. Trailing 1-5, Vicky worked exceptionally hard to equalize at
5-5. Gaurav claimed two more points with Vicky over hitting the ball.
Making a desperate bid to stay in the match, Vicky
tried his best but later succumbed to the extra-fine performance by his
antagonist. Even after equalizing at 8-8, and also with the serve in his
hands, Vicky could not take advantage. When the serve was hand-out to
Gaurav, Vicky had a choice of deciding whether he wanted a point or a two
point game. He chose one, with Gaurav claiming the also point Vicky found
himself out of the court wiping his sweat. “I don’t know what made me call
for one point, may be I was tired”, said a sweating Vicky after the, match.
In the women’s second round match Jigisha Mehta’s gave
yet another hard working performance against Karishma Juneja, the winner of
the tournament held at the Otters Club. Jigisha, who beat Sapna Jalan in a
tense encounter on Wednesday, had her hands full yet again.
Jigisha won the first two game quite conveniently with
9-2, 9-3 but found her rival make a tremendous fight back in the third. The
tables were turned from the third game onwards. Jigisha started off well
with a basic objective, victory. She was on her way to a comfortable win
with a lead of 5-2 when all off a sudden things went against her. Karishma
playing at her best. caught up and later took charge of the game winning
9-6. The next was played in similar fashion with Karishma winning the game
by an identical score-line of 9-6.
In the decider, Karishma started well, taking an early
lead to diminish all the expectations of her rival. Karishma was all set to
wind up the decider with a comfortable lead (7-4). However, Jigisha, giving
a repeat of her steely performance against Sapna in the previous round,
staged a unbelievable recovery. Gaining in confidence, Jigisha went on to
equalize the score. And then keeping her nerves about her, she bagged two
more points to claim a well deserved victory.
The Asthana twins, Vineet and Vinay, both highly
promising while they were juniors, bowed out of the men’s event of the Rs.4
lakh Videocon Squash Classic at the Otters Club, Bandra, Yesterday.
Both, Vineet and Vinay, did not have the luck of the
draw and ran into strong opponents in the second round. Vineet lost to Akhil
Behl, the second seed, while Vinay was beaten by Paul Ferreira, ranked
third, in straight games.
Even though the outcome was more or less a forgone
conclusion, the match between Udai Singh, the top seed, and Vaman Apte was
followed with considerable enthusiasm as Apte is the president of the squash
Rackets Association of Maharashtra.
Apte did have his moments scoring now and then with a
strong forehand. Udai was home, 9-3, 9-2, 9-1. Mr. Apte now faces a different
battle as leading players of the state have in a signed statement raised
several issues regarding the functioning of the SRAM.
For the second day running, Jigisha Mehta was involved
in a long-drawn struggle. This time, she beat Karishma Juneja at 9-7 in the
fifth and final game.
The effort ensures at least Rs.2,500/- in prize-money
for Jigisha. She can double her earnings if she gets past Sarita Jethwani.
Jamshed Pandole came all the way from the United States
and he was stretched the full distance before getting past Rohit Thawani of
Pune in a nail-biting qualifier of the Videocon Squash Classic men’s event
at the Otters Club at Bandra Yesterday.
Jamshed, 20 a business management student in the US and
now on a vacation, made it to the main competition, but was made to sweat to
out by Rohit, a businessman from across the western ghats. Jamshed won 3-2
(9-5, 6-9, 7-9, 9-1, 9-5) in an exciting match in 55 minutes.
Playing very aggressive game with alit of hard shots,
Jamshed commented: “I played well in spell, lost two game splaying too
negatively. It was also the heat that made me tired, very well and fought it
Rohit, who too complained of the humidity as compared
to Pune, looked fit putting up good resistance.
Nikhil Behl and Mangesh Nadkarni, the two Otters Club
players, did not had to exert much while booking their berths in the
tournament proper with easy 3-0 victories over Girish Kaira and Leon Emanuel
(New Bombay Sports Association) respectively.
In the under-19 category for the Rs.15,000/- prize
money to the winner, Sanjay Pawar, had a cake walk while trouncing Akash
Sharma 9-0, 9-0, 9-0.
Sanjay (14), a seventh standard student of Dnyan
Vardhini HS (Kandivali) who trains at the Otters Club twice a week, a future
national junior champion prospect displayed very strong back and forehand
but need to concentrate on fitness if he is to see places. In the main draw
Sanjay will take on seventh seed Aftab Mathur.
Jaikaran Juneja (14), a student of Bishop Cotton School
(Shimla), looked a disappointment lad. He bitterly complained for not having
“I have come here after spending Rs.30,000/- for my
trip. It is most unfair that almost half the players seeded in the main draw
beaten by me in the All India Nationals at Chennai and the Little Masters
find the berth and I have been overlooked.”
With an impressive win
over Sahil Adlekha, Nikhil Behl is a step closer to enter main draw.
NIKHIL Behl, who put it across Sahil Adlekha (Delhi) in
one of the best games out of the 10 scheduled on the opening day of the
Videocon Squash Classics at the Khar Gymkhana, is confident of making the
main draw of the men’s event which offers Rs.25,000/- to the winner.
The 21-year-old MBA First Year student of Chetan
Institute of Management, who won 9-5, 9-1 and 9-5 in order to book the berth
in the main draw, will have to put it across Girish Kaira on Tuesday.
“I have never seen Kaira play however, I am confident
of defeating him and qualifying for the open category,” explained Nikhil,
adding that he has a fairly good chance of making the grade.
In fact, the Otters Club player added: “there are a
couple of guys who are as good as me seeded in the main draw and once I
makes the grade, their won’t be much difference between me and the seeded
players.” Amongst yet another good player, who is made to sweat it out to
make the grade is Mangesh Nadkarni from Otters Club who is a good player
according to Nikhil.
Describing his play against his first round opponent
Sahil Adlekha, Nikhil commented: “Basically, the positive point was that, it
gave me an opportunity of having a good feel of the court and on Tuesday
when I take on a new opponent whom I have never played before, I will be
able to adapt myself well and make a good start while my opponent will
struggle to settle down.”
“The Videocon Classic will provide a much needed big
boost to squash. There is a lot of talent in this beautiful game and unless
a lot of money is pumped in the sport which is otherwise neglected, will
never come up,” commented Nikhil with a sigh of hope. While Nikhil is
confident of making it to the competition proper on Tuesday, he says: “I
hope in the main draw, I am lucky enough to meet someone of my caliber and
not my younger brother Akhil or Uday Singh (Australia), Paul Ferreira,
Manish Chotrani or Niraj Shiragoakar”.
When asked as to why he is afraid of his own brother,
the India No.3 and Junior National Champion, Nikhil replied: “No doubt, I
introduced Akhil to the game and played an important role in his success. He
is probably more talented and has hung on the game where as I had a three
Mumbai, June 28 on a day of mixed fortunes for the
Juneja twin brothers, fourth seed Gaurav stunned second seed Amit Pal Kohli
3-1 (4-9, 9-3, 9-2, 9-7) in a exciting boys’ U-19 semifinal of the Rs. Four
lakh Videocon Squash Classic Tournament at the Otters Club glass court here
Gaurav’s will meet top seed Rohan Bappu in Sunday’s
final. Bappu scored a facile victory over Gaurav’s brother Rohan 3-0 (9-1,
9-3, 9-5). The winner will get Rs.15,000/- while the runner-up get
After having lost the first game and found it difficult
to adjust, Guarav (16), a SY student of H R Commerce College, picked up the
ball well from the numerous mistakes committed by Amit Pal by hitting the
Gaurav, having gained in confidence and rounded up the
two games, in the fourth game, led 6-0 only to see Pal recover 5-6 with some
brilliant shots. Gaurav, however, made it 7-5 but Gaurav had the benefit of
the match ball to again forge ahead 8-7 and managed to get service back
which fetched him the winner 9-7 in a nail-biting fourth and deciding game.
“Basically, I had not planned any strategy. It was the
physical training under Rehmat Khan which helped me pick up each and
Amit Pal (17), a SYJC students of Mithibhai College,
looked unfit and having been sailing smooth until his clash with Gaurav, he
conceded 0-7 lead in each game. Besides, his hitting of the ball was
erratic it was only in the last game that he did try to make a fight of it
by coming into the game 6-6 after being 0-6 down.
Tournament Organised by ISP
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