Even as the race to qualify for main draw gathered steam, Digvijay Kadian of Haryana stunned two-time Asian billiards champion Dhruv Sitwala of PSPB to qualify for the group stages in the Phoenix Serene Spaces National 6-Red snooker tournament here on Tuesday.
“I wasn’t thinking of a win but wanted to play well,” Kadian said. And play well he did. Any nervousness, which he claimed he had, was not evident on the table. His combination of attack and safety play ensured he had the upper hand.
Having pocketed the first two frames, he survived a comeback bid by Sitwala, who took the next two. Unperturbed, Kadian upped his game and soon closed it out. “I am now very confident going into the next game,” he said.
Sitwala, however did make it to the main draw winning his next match. Also going through was Rupesh Shah.
Multiple times national champion Alok Kumar of PSPB also entered the group stage defeating Nitin Sharma 4-2. Also marching on with ease were I.H. Manudev, D. Rajkumar, both from Karnataka, Lucky Vatnani of Telangana, Dilip Kumar of RSPB and junior National champion S. Shrikrishna,.
Those who qualified included Shahbaaz Adil Khan, Divya Sharma, Piyush Kushwaha, Daksh Reddy, Venkatesam, Nitesh Madan, Rajat Khaneja, Anuj Uppal, Aneesh Saini, Pandurangaiah, Dhwaj Haria, Rohit Malhotra, J. Varunkumar, Yogesh Kumar and Bharat Sissodiya.
All will now join 18 others who have directly qualified for the main draw which starts from Wednesday.
Favourite Pankaj Advani begins the defence of his crown against Abhimanyu Gandhi in a Group A match.. Also seen in action will be Alok Kumar, Kamal Chawla, Rafath Habib, Brijesh Damani, Lucky Vatnani, Laxman Rawat, Sourav Kothari and Manan Chandra alongwith S. Shrikrishna and J. Varun Kumar.
Shahbaaz Adil Khan bt Michael Rebello 4-3; Dilip Kumar bt Jatin Rawat 4-1; Divya Sharma bt Akshay Kumar 4-3; S. Shrikrishna bt Vinayak Agarwal 4-1; Aneesh Saini bt Siddharth Parikh 4-3; Digvijay Kadian bt Dhruv Sitwala 4-2; Lucky Vatnani bt Monu Choudhary 4-2; Alok Kumar bt Nitin Sharma 4-2; Dhwaj Haria bt Ketan Chawla 4-2; Pandurangaiah bt Pranit Ramchandani 4-2; J Varun Kumar bt Sparsh Pherwani 4-2.
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