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SWITCHER -  THE LEELA SQUASH MASTERS 2001 (HANDICAP DOUBLES & WOMEN'S TOP – 8

  At Hotel The Leela : (28/04/2001)
   


At the prize distribution ceremony held at Hotel The Leela from left to right: Niraj Shirgaokar (Double’s Winner), General Manager of The Leela, Mekhala Subedar (Winner in Women’s event), Chandrakant Pawar (Winner in doubles event), Noreena (ISP), Rakesh Lakhanpal (Director, Switcher) & Mahendra Agarwal (Founder Director, ISP).

Click here for more photographs

 

All Results:

Results: 
Women’s singles (finals): 
Mekhala Subedar (Deolali) beat Deepali Anvekar (Mumbai) 15-5, 15-10, 15-6.

Semi-finals: 
Mekhala Subedar beat Kanika Premnarayan 15-10, 15-11, 15-13; 
Deepali Anvekar beat Sarita Jethwani 15-9, 15-8, 15-7.

Quarterfinals : 
Kanika Premnarayan (Khar Gym) bt Bhaktiveda Dhaul 15-9, 15-5, 15-6
Sarita Jethwani (Khar Gym) bt Alisha Mashruwala 15-13, 15-12, 15-13 

Men’s doubles (finals): 
Chandrakant Pawar (The Leela) and Niraj Shirgaokar (Otters) beat Saket Wali and Amitpal Kohli (Khar Gym) 15-5, 15-10, 15-6.

Semi-finals: 
Amitpal Kohli and Saket Wali (Khar Gym) beat Inderpal Singh and Leon Emmanuel (New Bombay Club)15-13, 7-15, 17-15; 
Chandrakant Pawar and Niraj Shirgaokar beat Shiv Malhotra and Vijay Waghela (Khar Gym) 15-12, 15-12.

Quarter-finals: 

Shiv Malhotra and Vijay Waghela (Khar Gym) beat Bipin Batra and Aditya Manjrekar (Otters) 15-8, 8-15, 17-14; 
Inderpal Singh and Leon Emmanuel (New Bombay Club) beat S Ramchandani and K Chabbria (Otters) 15-9, 11-15, 15-7; 
Saket Wali and Amitpal Kohli (Khar Gym) beat Rajesh Sonawane and Douglas Goudinho (WCG) 13-15, 17-15, 15-12.

All Press Articles of the Tournament

 

Squashed! 
(Article in Bombay Times, Mumbai : 26/04/2001)

One day, she intends to throw in her sports shoes for a stethoscope, but for now Deepali Anvekar enjoying herself as the reigning national squash champion.  

At 19, she’s achieved milestones in two different sports – swimming and squash. Deepali Anvekar, took up to squash when she was 15. “Squash just happened to me, I had never intended to take up this sport”, says Deepali. She excelled in swimming during her school days – reaching the nationals in the butterfly and breaststroke. 

Even though Deepali never played squash before, she decided to take on the challenge. “It was in the 1997, that I first held a squash racket, at the Rehmat Khan vacation coaching camp which was held at the CCI for three months”, adds Anvekar. 

The three month camp which Deepali had in 1997, changed her-attitude towards the game, “I had played racket sports like badminton and lawn tennis, so playing this sport was no biggie. And since both squash and swimming involves using your shoulders and arms, I took to the game pretty quickly,” says Deepali. 

She won her first tournament in 1997 – inter school and inter collegiate squash tournament which was held at the Otters club. And after that she hasn’t looked back. In the last three years (1998, 1999, 2000) she has won 30 tournaments, she is currently the under-19 national champion. Deepali was picked up by the Indian squash professionals (ISP) – a body that provides players with professionals coaches in 1997. 

“Even since 1997, my coaching really picked up as I was coached under C S Pawar, and I won my first title – under 19 tournament, where I beat Rhea Bhandare in five tough sets”, informs Anvekar. 

“Her power to hit the squash ball hard, is her strong point. Besides she’s also good on her feet and has quick reflexes – which is essential for a squash players”, says C S Pawar. But Deepali, insists on completing her medical degree. “I want to be a doctor and do not intend to compromise my studies for sports.  My parents, especially my dad has always been supportive of whatever I do. But at the moment I want to concentrate on the up coming Leela Squash masters tournament, which will be starting in Mumbai on April 25,” says Deepali, who is still the defending champion.

 

Confident Joshna aims for world squash title 
(Article in Indian Express, Mumbai : 29/04/2001)

Squash is getting younger and stronger. The latest star on the horizon is Joshna Chinappa, the youngest National champion. After Alisha Mashruwalla showed the way, Chinappa created history when she overcame Vaidehi Reddy to become represent the country last December. 

One to take the sport ever since she was six, Chinappa had made rapid strides in the game she picked up from her father. Judging her budding career, Switcher decided to sponsor her clothing and ticketing expenses for tours abroad. 

The cherubic face of Joshna belies the pressures of a National champion as she goes about squealing in delight over trivial matters. But when it comes to the game she is all seriousness. 

Though she claims to have realized less than half potential, she is confident of winning the world juniors title which is her next aim. And to think she has still three years to do that. “There is no point if I don’t win it (World junior title) net year. That is why I wanted to win the Nationals at any cost,” says the girl in a hurry. 

Chinappa felt that she has emerged a much stronger and confident person and was a great feeling. “I plan to take up yoga and meditation lessons to improve my concentration”, says Joshna. 

 

Mekhala, Deepali in final 
(Article in Times of India, Mumbai : 28/04/2001)  

Deposed women’s National champion Mekhala Subedar of Deolali will take on Mumbai's Deepali Anvekar in the final of the Rs. 40,000 prize money Switcher – The Leela women’s invitation and men’s handicap doubles squash tournament. 

In the semifinals at the glass-backed courts of The Leela on Friday, both Mekhala and Deepali scored straight-set wins to set up an exciting title clash for the top purse of Rs. 8,000.  While Mekhala got the better of upcoming youngster Kanika Premnarayan of Khar Gym at 15-10, 15-11, 15-13, Deepali brushed aside Khar Gym’s Sarita Jethwani 15-9, 15-8, 15-7. 

In the quarterfinals of the men’s doubles event, Shiv Malhotra and Vijay Waghela of Khar Gym ended the winning streak of Bipin Batra and Aditya Manjrekar from Otters Club. Malhotra and Waghela won 15-8, 8-15, 17-14 in a tight encounter. Also going through to the semifinals was Khar Gym’s Saket Wali and Amitpal Kohli who beat

WCG’s Rajesh Sonawane and Douglas Goudinho 13-15, 17-15, 15-12. 

 

Gill enters last eight 
(Article in Indian Express, Mumbai : 26/04/2001)

Santosh More and Anurag Gill of Otters Club recovered after dropping the first game to defeat CCI’s Sadiq Madraswala and Joram Dhawan 2-15, 15-9, 15-14 and enter the quarter-finals of the Rs.40, 000 prize money Switcher-The Leela handicap men’s doubles and women’s invitation squash tournament at the glass-backed courts of The Leela, here on Wednesday. 

Also entering the quarter-finals were CCI’s Naval Billimoria and Bobby Bajaj with a straight-sets victory over Rakshak Malhotra and Karan Malhotra of Otters Club, 15-10, 17-15. The invitation women’s event, which features current national champion Joshna Chinappa, former national champion Mekhala Subedar and Mumbai’s top players Deepali Anvekar begins on Thursday. In the first round matches, Sonu Mirani and Shashi Gupta of New Bombay Club, Vashi recovered after losing the first game to defeat Shahid Lokhandwala and Aditya Beri of Otters Club 13-15, 15-13, 15-17. 

Mumbai’s top women’s squash players Deepali Anvekar, who teamed up with Mohit Gaba of Otters Club lost to Nikhil Kapoor and R Raheja, also of Otters 5-15, 8-15. 

In another match that went the distance, S Ramchandrani and K Chabbria of Otters Club defeated Ashish Bhagra and Yakub Shaikh of Juhu Centaur 15-9, 12-15, 17-15. 

The invitation event for the top eight women’s players begins on April 26.

 

Subedar, Anvekar in summit clash 
(Article in Indian Express, Mumbai : 28/4/2001)

Deposed women’s National champion Mekhala Subedar of Deolali will take on Mumbai’s strong title contender Deepali Anvekar in the final of the Rs.40,000 prize money Switcher – The Leela Women’s invitation and men’s handicap doubles squash tournament. 

In the semi-finals at the glass-backed courts of the Leela on Friday, both Mekhala and Deepali scored straight-set wins to set up an exiting title for the top purse of Rs.8,000. While Mekhala got the better of  upcoming youngster Kanika Premnarayan of Khar Gym 15-10, 15-11, 15-13, Deepali brushed aside Khar Gymkhana Sarita Jethwani 15-9, 15-8, 15-7. 

Mekhala, who lost her National crown to Chennai’s teenager Joshna Chinappa and has come close to loosing to Deepali on the some previous occasions will be looking to set the record straight. Deepali has always played some of her best squash against Mekhala and with both players superbly fit, the final promises to be an exiting affair.

In the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles event, Shiv Malhotra and Aditya Manjrekar from Otters Club. Malhotra and Waghela won 15-8, 8-15, 17-14 in a tight encounter. Also going through to the semifinals was Khar Gymkhana’s Saket Wali and Amit Pal Kohli who beat WCG’s Rajesh Sonawane and Douglas Goudinho 13-15, 17-15, 15-12.

 

Batra, Manjrekar sail smoothly into quarters 
(Article in Indian Express, Mumbai : 27/4/2001)

Bipin Batra and Aditya Manjrekar of Otters Club continued their fine run in the Rs.40,000 prize money Switcher – The Leela Squash men’s doubles and Women’s invitation squash tournament, winning two back to back matches that went the distance to enter the quarter-finals at the glass-backed courts of The Leela, here, on Thursday. 

In the second round, Batra and Manjrekar defeated the formidable duo of Bikram Uberoi and Sahil Vora, representing Bombay Gym, 15-13, 7-15, 15-14. Within an hour the pair was back on court, this time getting the better of Juhu Centaur’s Riaz Mohd and Sanjay Goyal.

 

Subedar back to winning ways 
(Article in Asian Age, Mumbai : 29/4/2001)

Mekhala Subedar is back in business, to her winning ways. In the final of the women’s invitation event of the Switcher – The – Leela Squash Masters, Mekhala was absolutely ruthless in her decimation of Mumbai’s Deepali Anvekar. The former women’s national champion defeated the under-19 national champion 15-5, 15-10, 15-6 in no time at all to take home the winners purse of Rs.8,000. Deepali, who looked totally out of sorts against a superbly fit and nimble Mekhala, had to settle for the consolation runners-up prize of Rs.5,000. 

Earlier, in the final of the men’s doubles handicap event, Chandrakant Pawar of The Leela and Niraj Shirgaokar of Otters Club teamed up to defeat Saket Wali and Amit Pal Kohli of Khar Gymkhana 15-11, 15-14. 

The women’s final got off a whirlwind start, with both players refusing to give an inch. However, after the early skirmishes, which saw both players argue hotly with the referee, Mekhala settled down to a smooth rhythm. Deepali, who seemed heavy on her feet was struggling too keep up with the ball, which was being controlled masterfully by Mekhala. 

Mekhala raced to a 4-0 lead, before Deepali got her first game 15-4 and seemed set to do an encore in the second, before Deepali came up with a brief resurgence. She managed to come up to 10-14, before Mekhala close out the game with a brilliant faked drop shot. 

In the third, Deepali seemed to be tiring and Mekhala had to just bide here time as points were coming her way in a steady stream. Mekhala seemed to be hardly breathing heavily when she walked off the court after her straight-set victory.

 

Batra – Manjrekar in quarterfinals 
(Article in Times of India, Mumbai : 27/04/2001)

Bipin Batra and Aditya Manjrekar of Otters Club continued their fine run in the Rs.40,000 prize money Switcher-The Leela squash men’s squash tournament, winning two back to back matches that went the distance to enter the quarter-finals at The Leela on Thursday. 

In the second round, Batra and Manjrekar defeated the formidable duo of Bikram Uberoi and Sahil Vora, representing Bombay Gym, 15-13, 7-15, 15-14. 

Within an hour the pair was back on court, this time getting the better of Juhu Centaur’s Riaz Mohd and Sanjay Goyal in an even tougher encounter, at 13-15, 15-13, 15-13.

 

Something Fishy: Dravid meets Joshna 
(Article in Times of India, Mumbai : 29/04/2001)

What’s common between cricket star Rahul Dravid and the youngest national champ in any game, 17-year-old squash kid Joshna Chinappa. There isn’t any really, but there was one actually on Friday when the two were seen in the same restaurant, on different floors though, but enjoying the same cuisine – the ‘fish’ delights of the Bay of Bombay in downtown Dhobitalao area. 

Both had their sponsors in tow. Rahul had the Reebok marketing people with him, both from India and abroad. Joshna was being introduced to the Mumbai media for the first time after winning the nationals by her sponsors, Switcher, makers of the T-shirts most popular in Switzerland. 

Rahul had one of his easy nights out in the city. “During Test matches one hardly gets any time. Its early to bed and early out of it.” Godfrey Pinto of the ‘Bay’ was anxious whether Rahul would enjoy the fare. 

How good a fish-eater is he? “We don’t have much variety in Bangalore, but in Mumbai one can have one’s fill. I have had one at Trishna. Saurav (Ganguly) really loves the place and I have seen him have a go there.” Dravid had enjoyed the crabs at Trishna. 

At the ‘Bay’ Dravid enjoyed the starters, the oysters. Then came the clams. For the main course he had jumbo crab meat, laced with butter, garlic and pepper, fish steak and prawns, followed by Kingfish reshadu. For the veggies at the table, not many of them though there was paneer doyaba, which Pinto proudly proclaimed as their signature dish. 

Upstairs the media were oblivious about Dravid’s presence. But Joshna’s dad. Anjan, was keen that his daughter should meet a famous Indian sportsperson. So down she was taken to meet him. He enquired about her performance. 

“We talked about general things,” was all she said. Who was her favourite cricketer. She gave a shocker: “Shoaibh Akhtar.” No explanations Joshna added most of the Pakistani players were her favourites. 

Thank goodness she didn’t blurt that out in front of Dravid and also Uma Bharti. Dravid’s group dispersed around midnight, for he had a benefit game to play at Thane on Saturday. 

In the end he had some goodies coming his way, some T-shirts from Switcher, whose Robin Cornelius has come all the way from Lausanne. A brand that doesn’t the top guns of sport like Reebok and others, it is more community oriented. And will stay that way. 

Cornelius, during his one of his stays at The Leela, watches Joshna play in a tournament. He was fired by her intensity and on the spur of the moment offered to sponsor her. They will spend on her tournament abroad. Cornelius wasn’t unhappy Joshna couldn’t play the Leela-Switcher tournament inspite of contractual obligations as it clashed with the camp in Chennai. 

“Let’s not jeopardize her future,” he said with magnanimity. Then he turned to the Reebok clan and began talking shop. They looked highly impressed. One of them, a Canadian, told Cornelius he was coming to Lausanne in June. 

The ‘Bay’ had been unwittingly instrumental in not only getting two top guns of Indian sport together also two sporting brands, and there was a tremendous diversity to it. And nothing ‘fishy’ except in the literal sense of the word.

 

38th Tournament Organised by ISP