ISP Squash
 
   
   

Herald Maritime Services Squash Open 2003

 

At Otters Club, Bandra, Mumbai : 5/7/2003

   

 

At the prize distribution ceremony of Herald Maritime Services Open Squash in Otters Club from left to right: Miss Noreena (ISP), Capt Jamshed Appoo (Sponsor), Gaurav Nandrajog (Winner in under-19 category), chief guest & hockey legend Dhanraj Pillay, Khalid A-H Ansari (President, SRAM), Ritwik Bhattacharaya (Winner in men’s category), Mekhala Subedar (Winner in women’s category) & Zavary Poonawalla
 

Click here for more photographs


All Results :

Men’s: Ritwick bhattachayara beat Saurav Ghosal 15-6, 15-6, 14-15, 15-8
Women’s: 1-Mekhala Subedar (Deolali) bt 3-Priyanka Yadav (Mumbai) 15-6, 15-6, 10-15, 15-8.
Boys U-19: 1-Gaurav Nandrajog (Del) bt 2-Sahil Vora (Mumbai) 12-15, 15-4, 11-15, 15-12, 15-12.

Semi Finals: 
Men’s Open :

1-Ritwik Bhattacharya (Del) bt 4-Amjad Khan (Dhampur) 15-2, 15-5, 15-2; 
2-Sourav Ghoshal (Chennai) bt Karan Bhatty 15-6, 15-5, 15-9. 

Women :
1-Mekhala Subedar (Deolali) bt 4-Rachita Vora 15-7, 15-11, 15-8; 
3-Priyanka Yadav bt 2-Deepali Anvekar 15-9, 5-15, 15-10, 15-12. 

Boys U-19 :
1-Gaurav Nandrajog (Del) bt Vikas Jangra (Jindal) 15-11, 15-10, 15-10; 
2-Sahil Vora bt Mihir Sheth 15-10, 15-7, 15-4.

Quarter Finals: 

Men’s Open: 
4-Amjad Khan (Dhampur) bt Vishal Kapoor 15-8, 16-17, 15-14, 15-6; 
Karan Bhatty bt Sachin Jadhav 13-15, 15-12, 15-9, 15-10; 
2-Saurav Ghoshal (Chennai) bt Rohit Thawani 15-9, 15-7, 15-6; 
1-Ritwik Bhattacharya (Del) bt Satyajit Sheshadri (Chennai) 15-7, 15-5, 15-1. 

Women :
4-Rachita Vora bt Shaila Panole 15-6, 15-3, 15-7; 
3-Priyanka Yadav bt Madhura Paranjpe 15-8, 15-7, 15-5; 
2-Deepali Anvekar bt Shivangi Paranjpe 15-2, 15-4, 15-7. 
1-Mekhala Subedar (Deolali) bt Sachika Balwani 15-3, 15-6, 15-6;

Boys U-19: 
1-Gaurav Nandrajog (Del) bt Ritesh Sharma (Jindal) 15-7, 15-6, 15-9; 
Vikas Jangra (Jindal) bt Dhruv Dhawan 15-12, 15-2, 15-7; 
Mihir Sheth bt Sandeep Jangra (Jindal) 15-13, 15-6, 12-15, 15-8; 
2-Sahil Vora bt Anurag Gill 15-12, 15-8, 15-13.

 

Press Articles of the tournament

Smooth sailing for top seeds
(Article in Asian Age, Mumbai : 4/7/2003)

Fancied players went through to the quarterfinals  without a hitch, in the Rs.3.70 lakh prize money Herald Maritime Services All-India Squash Open here on Thursday. 

Third seed Vivan Rahmanan of Singapore was the lone ranked player to fall by the wayside, upset by Sandeep Jangra in the boys under-19 pre-quarter finals at the glassbacked courts of the Otters Club. 

Rahmanan, who had fared well in the boys under-19 category of the Otters Open recently, found a canny opponent in the young Jangra and went down 15-9, 10-15, 15-12, 15-14. 

Among the women’s matches, the fixture between Shivangi Paranjpe and Chandrika Zaveri hogged attentation, with the former going through on five-game victory. 

The 12 year-old Shivangi outplayed Chandrika 15-6, 9-15, 7-15, 15-12 15-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with second seed Deepali Anvekar. 

Deepali wasted no time while brushing aside Delkush Bhatia 15-1, 15-1, 15-12.

Also advancing with ease were top seed and National champion Mekhala Subedar, third seed Priyanka Yadav and fourth seed Rachita Vora. Mekhala, who is the best bet to lift the women’s singles title in the absence of Joshna Chinappa, had an unlikely opponent in the nine-year old Sachika Balwani and gave away a few points before winning 15-3, 15-6, 15-6. 

The men’s pre-quarter finals saw an interesting encounter between the unseeded Saket Wali and Dhampur’s fourth seed Amjad Khan. Wali played his best squash in the second game, where he ran out Khan close before losing 15-17. However he ran out of  steam in the third losing tamely at 6-15. Wali had lost the first game 10-15. 

While top seed Ritwik Bhattacharya enjoyed an off day. Second seed Sourav Ghosal of Chennai took time to get into his groove as he gave away more points than necessary. 

He finally won 15-4, 15-11, 15-7 over Vaibhav Gupta.

 

That winning feeling
(Article in Mid-Day, Mumbai : 2/7/2003)

The usual hustle was missing at the Otters Club on the first day of the Herald Maritime Squash Championship 2003 yesterday. In fact, there was an erie silence on the otherwise active squash courts. 

But that could have been because of the qualifying rounds and so the quality of squash was not quite as expected. But the surprising atmosphere threw light on many, for who the aim of participation was not just about winning. 

Though the players competed hard against each other in the qualifying rounds to set up a match with some of the best players in the country, winning was not always their only objective. 

“With school and tuitions, I  don’t get a chance to play squash at all. I have played only two tournaments in the last two years. I am not in touch so I don’t know how many matches I will get to play. But I really enjoyed playing today,” said 14 year old Aakash Teckchandani, after beating Pramod Salvi 15-17, 15-13, 10-15, 15-7, 15-13 in the first of the boy’s under-19 qualifying round. 

For Poona’s Deepak Moolani, the tournament offers nothing but joy and a chance to roll back the time. “Playing squash has been my passion and it is my way of keeping fit. Also, I have known people like (Chandrakant) Pawar Sir and Avinash (Bhavnani), squash incharge at Otters Club). It feels nice to get to meet them after a long time,” the 39 year old said. 

Lured by the prize money (the highest ever in India) several players like Jay Katoch and Mahesh Gulia have made their way from Delhi and are not sure even to get a sniff at the cash prize. The duo has never played in Mumbai earlier.

 

Gaurav gears up for the big challenge
(Article in Indian Express, Mumbai : 5/7/2003)

If nothing else, this monsoon might just make Gaurav Nandrajog more religious. The talented youngester’s got a prayer on his lips these days- that just skill, talent and drive should be enough to see him through to the one place he’s aspiring for- the professional Squash Player’s Association (PSA) circuit. 

The 18year-old Delhi lad is turning professional like his squash peers junior national champion Sourav Ghosal (16), Mumbai’s Supreet Singh (19), and Chennai’s Joshna Chinappa (16), but unfortunately the Squash Racquets Federation on India (SRFI) has asked him to fend foe himself on the PSA Tour, unlike the other three, who are being sponsored by SRFI. 

But Gaurav is seemingly unfazed after having received the short end of the SRFI stick. 

“I was informed that they do not have the finances to back me on the Tour. So now I’m hoping that the prize money I make from the tournaments I play, will see me through to the PSA tour,” said Gaurav after beating Jindal’s Vikas Jangra 15-10, 15-10, 15-11 to reach the final of the Herald Maritime Services Open Squash Championship at the Otters club on Friday.

Topseed in the U-19 category since Sourav decided to play in the Men’s category, Gaurav will now play Mumbai’s Sahil Vora in the final and from the looks of it, he could certainly do with the Rs.50,000 prize money that awaits the winner. 

Gaurav and Sourav, who are also part of the National team that finished with a silver in the Asian Junior Championship held earlier this year, have played in the final of almost every junior squash tournament in the country, invariably with Sourav usually getting the better of the exchanges. 

“I am really looking forward to playing on the PSA circuit, that’s probably the best exposure we can get,” says Gaurav, The trio of Supreet, Sourav and Gaurav will make their PSA debut in New Zealand in August. 

The commerce student from Shree Ram Commerce College, Delhi knows a thing or two about difficult finances. He has been forced to play in tournaments in South Esat Asia because the European circuit, better when it comes to the kind of exposure and competition, is too expensive.

 

Up Where he belongs
(Article in Mid-Day, Mumbai b: 5/7/2003) 

Dhampur find Amjad Khan makes most of small city opportunities

Amjad Khan has nothing fancy about him. Neither is he flamboyant like players from Mumbai or Chennai, places considered to be the hubs of Indian Squash. 

He commes from Dhampur, a small town in Uttar Pradesh, where squash has just a miniscule presence. But he did not let his lack of exposure come in the way as he reached the semi-final of the Rs.3.70 lakh Herald Maritine Servises Squash Championship 2003 at Otters Club yesterday, beating Vishal Kapoor 15-8, 16-17, 15-14, 15-6. 

“I did not expect a fight from him as he has not been playing regularly. But I am happy with the way I played,” the 19-year-old said. Though Khan never looked in control of the match which Kapoor dictated with clever drop shots, it was Khan’s fitness that saw him through.

“It is mainly about fitness. If you are fit, you can at least survive in the match and hope to convert the opportunities. That’s what I did,” Khan said. 

But for Khan, who finds a reason to play squash mainly because of the chairman of Dhampur Sugar Mills, Vijay Goel, the sport has changed his life. “Mr. Goel was interested in the sport and so he build a few squash courts. Many like me started joining gradually and the interest grew,” he said. 

Khan has been supported throughout his six-years carrer by Goel who still pays for all his expenses. “In Dhampur, we do not have any tournaments. So we have to go outside to play. Many players like me are not in a good financial condition and so he pays for all out trips,” the 19-year-old said. 

Khan believes that without Goel, he could not have been the player that he is now. “I am the best player in Dhampur, others can learn from me, but I can only learn when I playing tournaments like this one which has the best players playing. 

“I could have been a better player if I stayed in Mumbai or Chennai, but I can’t complain as coming from Dhampur I can not expect more.” 

Khan’s semi-final match was against the top seed Ritwik Bhattacharya yesterday evening and the teenager was hoping to atleast take the match to him. 

Bhattachraya was just too good on the day, prevailing 15-2, 15-5, 15-2.

 

Yadav upsets Anvekar
(Article in Times of India, Mumbai : 5/7/2003)

While the rain came down in buckets outside, inside in the confines of the squash court at the Otters Club, Priyanka Yadav entered her first major women’s final in the Rs.3.7 lakh Herald Maritime Service Squash Open. 

Priyanka upset No.2 seed Deepali Anvekar 15-9, 5-15, 15-10, 15-12 in the semi finals on Friday. She now has an enviable task as she plays No.1 seed Mekhala Subedar in the title round. 

Priyanka had once before made a final in a girls category but never in the women’s event. In the past Deepali always beat Priyanka but on Thursday it was a different story. Priyanka was positive from the outset. And Deepali steadily wilted. In the third game, Deepali broke her toenail but she gamely fought on. Yet it was Priyanka who pulled through. 

Mekhala, the reigning National champion, made short work of Rachita Vora, winning 15-7, 15-11, 15-8. The 27-year old from Deolali hardly put a foot wrong as she breezed into the final.

 

Shivangi survives a thriller:
(Atrtical in Indian Express, Mumbai : 4/7/2003)

Twelve year-old Shivangi Paranjpe played out of her skin to outlast Chandrika Zaveri and set up a meeting with former national champion Deepali Anvekar in the Rs.3.70 lakh prize money Herald Maritime Services All-India Squash Open at the Otters Club on Thursday. 

Shivangi dropped two games before she prevailed 15-6, 9-15, 7-15, 15-12, 15-10 and did well to reach the quarter-final, which could well be the end of the road for her opponent medical student Deepali, who brushed aside Delkush Bhatia 15-1, 15-1, 15-2. 

In the boys U-19 category, third seed Singapore’s Vivan Rahmanan of Singapore was upset by Sandeep Jangra in pre-quarter-final clash. Rhamanan, who had fared well in the boys under-19 category of the Otters Open recently, found a canny opponent in the young Jangra and went down 15-9, 10-15, 15-12, 15-14.

 

Sandeep shocks Vivan
(Article in The Hindu, Delhi : 4/7/2003)

Sandeep Jangra pulled the plug on the third seed Vivan Rahmanan in the boy’s under-19 pre-quarterfinals of the Rs.3.70 lakhs Herald Maritime Services All-Indian Squash Open on Thursday. 

The youngster used his wiles to good effect for a 15-9, 10-15, 15-12, 15-14 victory at the glassbacked Otters Club squash courts on a day when young Shivangi Paranjape became the talking point with a display beyond her years in the women’s category. 

The Women’s event, which got underway in the event conducted by Indian Squash Professionals, saw 12-year old Shivangi holding her own in a tough five-setter over Chandrika Zaveri, winning 15-6, 9-15, 7-15, 15-12, 15-10 for a quarter final match-up with second seed Deepali Anvekar, who brushed aside Delkush Bhatia in four games. 

Top seed Mekhala Subedar, third seed Priyanka Yadav and fourth seed Rachita Vora too advanced to the next stage. Unseeded Saket Wali stretched himself in the men’s pre-quarter-final against fourth seed Amjad Khan, but found the going difficult as the match wore on, to bow out. 

Second seed Sourav Ghoshal curbed error-prone ways in time to shut out Vaibhav Gupta 15-4, 15-11, 15-7 in another men’s match. 

Women on top at the Otters Club!
(Article in Afternoon, Mumbai : 4/7/2003)

Women and girls alike tasted action for the first time in the Rs.3.70 lakh prize money Herald Maritime Services All-India Squash Open and fancied players went through to the quarter-finals with out a hitch, while third seed Vivan Rahmanan of Singapore was upset by Sandeep Jangra in the boys under-19 pre-quarter-finals at the glass backed courts of the Otters Club yesterday. 

Rahmanan, who had fared well in the boys under-19 category of the Otters Open recently, found a canny opponents in the young Jangra and went down 15-9, 10-15, 15-12, 15-14. 

Among the women’s matches, the fixture between Shivangi Paranjpe and Chandrika Zaveri hogged attention, with the former going through on a five-game victory. The 12-year-old Shivangi outplayed Chandrika 15-6, 9-15, 7-15, 15-12, 15-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with second seed Deepali Anvekar. Deepali wasted no time while brushing aside Delkush Bhatia 15-1, 15-1, 15-2. Also advancing with ease were top seed and national champion Mekhala Subedar, third seed Priyanka Yadav and fourth seed Rachita Vora Mekhala, who is the best bet to lift the women’s singles title in the absence of Joshna Chinappa, had an unlikely opponent in the nine-year old Sachika Balwani and gave away a few points before winning 15-3, 15-6, 15-6. 

The men’s pre-quarter finals saw an interesting encounter between the unseeded Saket Wali and Dhampur’s fourth seed Amjad Khan. Wali played his best squash in the second game, where he ran Khan close before losing 15-17. However he ran out of steam in the third, losing tamely at 6-15. He had lost the first game 10-15. 

While top seed Ritwik Bhattacharya enjoyed an off day, second seed Sourav Ghoshal Chennai took time to get into his groove as he gave off more points than necessary in his 15-4, 15-11, 15-7 victory over Vaibhav Gupta. 

 

Nandrajog overcomes Vora
(Article in free Press Journal, Mumbai : 7/7/2003)

Delhi’s Gaurav Nandrajog and Mumbai’s Sahil Vora came up with performances befitting the final of a major tournament as they battled over five games for more than two hours in the boys under-19 final before Nandrajog prevailed in the Rs. 3.70 lakh prize money Herald Maritime Services All-India Squash Open, which concluded at the glass-backed courts of the Otters Club, here, on Saturday. 

Nandrajog battled moments of self-doubt, which saw him fritter away valuable points, before winning 12-15, 15-4, 11-15, 15-12, 15-12. 

After the epic battle, Nandrajog became richer by Rs 50,000, while Vora had to settle for Rs 25,000. 

The men’s and women’s finals went according to seeding and form, with top seed Ritwik Bhattacharya of Delhi outplaying second seed Sourav Ghoshal of Chennai in four games at 15-6, 15-6, 14-15, 15-8 for the top purse of 15, 15-8 for the top purse of Rs 75,000 and Deolali’s Mekhala Subedar, the top seeded women, defeating third seed Priyanka Yadav 15-6, 15-6, 10-15, 15-8. 

Mekhala took home the winner’s purse of Rs 30,000.

  

Ritwik aims to get into world’s top 50
(Article in Times of India, Mumbai : 2/7/2003)

Ritwik Bhattacharya is a man on a mission.  The lone Indian squash player on the PSA circuit hopes to break into the top 50 by the end of the year.  He is currently ranked No. 91. 

The 23-year-old three-times National champion who lost a memorable five-game Nationals final to Manish Chotrani at the Otters Club was back at the same venue for the Otters All-India Open, with Manish absent, this event turned out to be a cake-walk as Ritwik defeated rising star Saurav Ghosal in a one-sided final. 

Bhattacharya, who has spent three years on the PSA circuit, and his back in the city targeting the biggest payout of Rs.70,000 at the Herald Maritime Service Open, spoke to TNN on range of issue Excerpts. 

What’s been your experience like on the PSA tourn, who are you training with?
I’m training with Neil Harvey in London, He is my coach. He has been a good player himself, top 10, and he has also coached World No.1 Peter Nicol and Malaysia
’s Ong Beng Hee. We have a great group out there, 10-12 players from all over the world, and so I get someone to play with better than me everyday.

What are your expectations.  How high will you go in the rankings?
It’s a tough question. I feel I am playing really well at the moment, I’ve set some goals for myself and I want to be ranked in the top 50 by the end of the year. I wanted to achieve it last year but it was unable to do so. I played at least 15 tournaments and I reached four semifinals in ranking tournaments so let’s see how it goes this year.

What do you feel about Saurav (Ghosal) and Supreet (Singh) planning to join the PSA circuit?
I believe even Gaurav (Nandrajog) is getting on the circuit, I think it is a great idea. We just need more people to lay PSA tournaments and to have PSA events in India. It’s like the tennis circuit, people come here to play tournaments to improve their world rankings. So let’s say you have six Indian in the top 150, they will start aiming high. Now in India
one wants to become the top player but that is only 90 in the world. So when someone starts playing in the circuit him aim will be higher, top 30 or 50.

What’s been your most memorable performance?
There have been a few. I beat this guy Derek Ryan from Ireland in five games last year. He was ranked No.10 at one time. I made four semifinals in the 12 tournaments I played last year but I was slightly disappointed as I thought I could make a final in one of them. I need to win one of these events. A couple of weeks ago I played the top three in the world Peter Nicol, Jonathan Power and John White, the No.1,2 and 4 in the world. It was a great experience because it gave me so much confidence, and I was not just blown off the court, I managed to take a couple of games from them. I play, well in practice matches and it I could translate that form in tournament play I will become better.

Is there one particular match you remember?
My first nationals win in ’99 in Kolkata when I beat Akhil Behl in five games. I was 18 at that time, and to beat the likes of Akhil and Manish was fantastic, it was also great because my parents were there and they don’t see too many of my tournaments. I had also won the junior nationals at the same time.

 

Mathur, Mohite, Khaire enter round three
(Article in Asian Age, Mumbai : 02/07/2003)

Willingdon sports’s Club Auloke Mathur came within qualifying for the main draw of the Rs.3.70lakh prize money Herald Maritime Services Squash Open 2003, Organised by the Indian squash professionals, winning two of the men’s qualifying round matches at the glass-back courts of the Otters Club, here on Tuesday. 

Mathur defeated Khar Gymkhana’s Ashish Gupta 15-7, 15-4, 15-4 to enter the final round of the qualifying matches. Another victory will propel him into the main draw. Also making the third round were professionals Anil Mohite and Prashant Khaire. 

 

The pros and cons of turning pro
(Article in Mid Day, Mumbai : 3/7/2003)

Bhattacharya reveals the troubles associated with professionalism

Ever since Ritwik Bhattacharya turned professional and left for London two years ago, he has been a guiding force for aspiring youngsters in the country. Every time he comes back to play a tournament, he is likely the elder brother everyone turns to for advice. 

But for the first professional player of note from the country, life hasn’t been as easy as it appears. “Sometime you really feel lonely. Then there’s pressure to perform almost every time as you need your sponsors to pump in the money,” he said after beating Rohit More 15-2, 15-6, 15-4 in the first round of the Herald Maritime Services squash championship 2003 at the Otters Club yesterday. 

Though life has been better since last year, Bhattacharya still remembers the early struggle. “There was no money and I didn’t know many people there. Also, I was all alone and had to do things like cooking and cleaning by myself,” he said. 

But there are positive sides as well to being a pro. “ you get to travel a lot and you become a better person when you seed different cultures and life styles. You meet different people, it teaches you to adjust to every situation,” said Bhattacharya every year. 

Bhattacharya had shifted base because he did not get to play enough competitive matches. But he feels the scenario has changed for the better. “It is not that the standard is great. But it is improving. There is still time for India to meet the international standards but steps are being taken towards the right direction.” 

Bhattacharya, ranked 91 in the world, feels that India needs international events to encourage youngsters. “When I saw the Mahindra and Mahindra tournament, I knew where I wanted to reach and how much I had to improve. Today’s youngster needs that kind of exposure without having to travel abroad,” he said. 

O his progress here Bhattacharya has a simple answer “I would like to believe that nobody can beat me here.” 

 

Today’s youngsters have it much better’
(Article in Mid Day, Mumbai : 04/07/2003)

Subedar believes she would have done better with more opportunities  

When Mekhala Subedar won her women’s second match 15-3, 15-6, 15-6 in the Rs.3.70 lakh Herald Maritime Services Squash Championship 2003 at Otters Club yesterday – against 10-year-old Sachika Balwani – it epitomized the change in Indian squash in the last five year. 

“So many players at a young age are taking up the game. This is good because it will intensify the competition and will raise the level of squash in India,” Subedar said. 

Though the 27-year-old is happy at the way squash is progressing, there is a ting of sadness as opportunities were quite rare when she started out. “There were just a few players and the competition was not that tough. It was not at all as it is now,” the current nationals champion said. 

Subedar also said that with the increase in the number of tournaments, the junior players have plenty of chances to make a name for themselves. “They play through the year and tournaments like this one with high amount of cash prize creates more interest. 

“I feel I could have been a better player if such conditions were present when I was a junior player. Players like Joshna Chinappa, Vaidehi Reddy and a others have gained experience quickly as they get many chance to play international events as well,” she said. 

The junior team will be soon heading for the junior world championship and Subedar felt India should perform well. “They are talented lot and they have trained hard for it. I am hopeful of a good performance from them.” 

Subedar also credited the growth of talent to the Indian Cements Squash Academy in Chennai. “Such academies are a must to produce quality players. It has made a lot of difference to players in the country.” 

Does Subedar’s engagement to Delhi-based Ankur Srivastava; and impending marriage (November 20), signal the end to a successful career? “I will continue to lay for a few more years. I believe I can still do well and after the loss to Joshna last week, I have started training hard again. There is time still and I want to achieve success at the international level as well.” 

 

Nandrajog clears Vora hurdle
(Article in Mid Day, Mumbai : 06/07/2003)

In a match up between contrasting styles, it was the top seed Gaurav Nandrajog’s subdued and consistent game that prevailed over the more aggressive but error-prone local lad Sahil Vora in the final of the Rs.3.70 lakh Herald Maritime Services Squash Championship at the Otters Club on Saturday. 

Nandrajog won 12-15, 15-4, 11-15, 15-12, 15-12. 

Surprises were in store for the audience who expected Nandrajog to win the match. Vora played better squash in the first game making few errors and making the top seed work for every point. 

Vora also benefited from Nandrajog’s inability to finish off points when he got the chance. Vora stayed in the rally long enough and managed to find a winner more consistently. The turning point came when Vora was trailing 10-12. 

With both players waiting for the other to make mistake, the rally saw 56 exchanges before Vora finished the point with a stunning smash that dropped dead the moment it hit the wall. Vora clinched the game 15-12. 

After winning the first game, Vora got a bit more ambitious and went for his shots too often. He paid the price for it as Nandrajog won the second 15-4. 

In the third game, both players played quality squash giving nothing away. But it was again the better finishing ability of Vora that saw him through. With score at 12-11, Vora managed a string of winners to seal the game 15-11. 

The battle continued in the fourth but Nandrajog was gradually beginning to gain advantage. His winners increased and Vora was beginning to show signs of fatigue. He won the fourth game 15-12. 

The deciding game saw the best of Nandrajog. He played at will racing to a 13-1 lead and a tame finish looked likely. But a tired Vora pulled out his reserves to stage a dramatic come back winning nine consecutive points. 

But Vora could not maintain the consistency required and when he could not reach a drop, it handed Nandrajog his first victory at the Otters Club and a purse of Rs.50, 000. 

There were no surprises in the other two finals of the day – women’s and men’s. Mekhala Subedar prevailed Priyanka Yadav but Ritwik Bhattacharya finally dropped a game in the tournament while beating Sourav Ghosal 15-6, 15-6, 14-15, 15-8. 

 

Steady Nandrajog wins the race
(Article in Indian Express, Mumbai : 6/07/2003)

Pushed to the wall by Mumbai’s Sahil Vora, Gaurav Nandrajog staged a stunning comeback to clinch the U-19 title winning 12-15, 15-4, 11-15, 15-12, 15-12 in an exhilarating final in the Herald Maritime Services Squash Open Championship at the Otters Club on Saturday. 

The marathon match lasted a little more than two hours and saw some terrific rallies, but in the end it was Gaurav’s consistency that finally prevailed over the flamboyant but erratic style of the second seed Sahil. 

For most of the match Gaurav seemed content in just keeping the ball in play while Sahil would every now and then burst into some extravagance. 

Sahil looked in good knick in the first game 15-12. Gaurav, who had admitted before the final that he was particularly keen on keeping the prize money to fund his PSA plans, showed his second game without much ado. 

Vora settled into a more sensible game in the third and produced some stunning winners when it mattered most to sweep the game 15-11. Typical of a final, soon enough, anguished cries followed referee’s decisions on let calls in the fourth game that Gaurav clawed out 5-12. 

Gaurav took his chance in the decider, playing a more attacking game to race to a 12-1 lead. Much to his credit, Sahil fought back valiantly but finally ran out of steam down 11-14. 

There were no surprise in the men’s and women’ section – national champion Mekhala Subedar outplaying Priyanka Yadav 15-6, 15-6, 10-15, 15-8 while Ritwik Bhattacharya made short work of Sourav Ghosal winning 15-6, 15-6, 14-15, 15-8. 

 

No Sweat For Ritwik, Sourav
(Article In The Hindu – Chennai, Mumbai : 03/07/2003)

Ritwik Bhattacharya and Sourav Ghosal did not have to work up a sweat when winning their first round matches in the men’s singles competition of the Rs.3.70 lakh Herald Maritime Services all India squash open on Wednesday. 

The Delhi based top seed sent professional Rohit More scurrying to all corners of the Otters Club glass-back court before winning 15-2, 15-6, 15-4…. back as the second seed from Chennai strolled through a 15-8, 15-8, 15-11 victory against Deepak Moolani. 

The two seeded players are expected to clash in the men’s final for high stakes, in this case a staggering Rs.75, 000 prize money for an individual event. 

The boys under-19 first round game got underway on the second day of the tournament, conducted by Indian sports professionals, with Rushabh Vora dropping just a game to Cyrus Appoo before winning in four. 

The latter struck a purple patch to pocket the second 15-10 before his superior rival came through in style, except a tough fourth game which ended 15-13 in formers favour. Vora won 15-10, 10-15, 15-7, 15-13. 

Other seeded players to advance into the second round were top seed Gaurav Nandrajog and Sahil Vora. The All-India event is being organised under the aegis of squash Racquets Association of Maharashtra and squash Racquets Federation of India. 

 

Biggest prize money for squash tourney
(Article in Times of India, Mumbai : 29/06/2003)

The biggest payout in the history of Indian squash awaits the winners of the Herald Maritime Services squash Open to be held at Otters Club from July 1-5. 

Capt Jamshed Appoo, whose firm is sponsoring this event designed by Indian squash professionals, their 47th event, said the men’s winner will take home Rs.70, 000. The boys winner will get RS.50, 000 and the women’s winner Rs.30, 000. Barring the Indian juniors who are in training at Chennai for the World Juniors in Cairo next month, all the top players in the country will take part. 

Capt. Appoo said he had seen from his outings with son Cyrus, a local squash player, that the squash players work very hard needed to be duly rewarded. 

At Thursday’s media conference, SRAM advisory board member Nana Chudasama paid tribute to the efforts of President Khalid Ansari to spread the game. He said it would be wonderful if squash courts could come up in the open spaces below the many fly-overs in the city.” I will use my good offices with the civic body to make this possible,” he said. 

 

Jangra Stuns Rahmanan to make Quarterfinal,
(Article In Free Press Journal, Mumbai : 4/072003)

Fancied women and girls alike went through to the quarter-finals without a hitch, while third seed Vivian Rahmanan of Singapore was upset by Sandeep Jangra in the boys under-19 pre-quarterfinals at the glassback courts of the Otters Club, in the Rs.3.70 lakh prize money Herald Maritime Services All-India Squash Open here on Thursday, reports UNI. 

Rahmanan, who had fared well in the boys under-19 category of the Otters Open recently, found a canny opponent in young Jangra and went down 15-9, 10-15, 15-12, 15-14. 

Among the women’s the fixture between Shivangi Paranjpe and Chandrika Zaveri hogged attention, with the former going through on a five-games victory. The 12-years-old Shivangi outplayed Chandrika 15-6, 9-15, 7-15, 15-12, 15-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with second seed Deepali Anvekar. 

Deepali wasted no time while brushing aside Delkush Bhatia 15-1, 15-1, 15-2. Also advancing with ease were top seed and national champion Mekhala Subedar, third seed Priyanka Yadav and fourth seed Rachita Vora. 

Mekhala, who is the best bet to lift the women’s singles title in the absence of Joshna Chinappa, had an unlikely opponent in the nine-years-old Sachika Balwani and gave away a few points before winning 15-3, 15-6, 15-6. 

The men’s pre-quarterfinals saw an interesting encounter between the unseeded Saket Wali and Dhampur’s fourth seed Amjad Khan. Wali played his best in the second game, where he ran Khan close before winning out of stream in the third. Khan won 15-10, 17-15, 15-6. 

While top seed Ritwik Bhattacharya enjoyed an off day, second seed Daurav Ghoshal Chennai took time to get into his groove as he gave off more points than necessary in his 15-4, 15-11, 15-7 victory over Vaibhav Gupta.

 

No sweat for Ritwik, Sourav
(Article in The Hindu, Mumbai : 2/7/2003)

Ritwik Bhattacharya and Sourav Ghoshal did not have to work up a sweat when winning their first round matches in the men’s singles competition of the Rs.3.70 lakh Herald Maritime Services All India Squash Open on Wednesday. 

The Delhi based top seed sent professional Rohit More scurrying to all corners of the Otters Club glass-back court before winning 15-2, 15-6, 15-4, then sat back as a the second seed from Chennai strolled through a 15-8, 15-8, 15-11 victory against Deepak Moolani. 

The two seeded players are expected to clash in the men’s final for high stakes, in this case a staggering Rs.75,000 prize money for an individual event. 

The boys under-19 first round games got underway on the second day of the tournament, conducted by Indian Sports Professionals, with Rushabh Vora dropping just a game to Cyrus Apoo before winning in four. 

The latter struck a purple patch to pocket the second 15-10 before his style, except a tough fourth game which ended 15-13 in former’s favour. Vora won 15-10, 10-15, 15-7, 15-13. 

Other seeded players to advance into the second round were top seed Gaurav Nandrajog and Sahil Vora. The all-India event is being organised under the aegis of Squash Racquets Association of Maharashtra and Squash Racquets Federation of India.

 

47th Tournament Organised by ISP