Abhishek Agarwal keen to continue rapid rise and break into top-100

Abhishek Agarwal's fine run in the 2019-20 PSA Challenger Tour saw him reach a career-best world ranking of 133 and become the sixth highest-ranked Indian.

Abhishek Agarwal

Abhishek Agarwal began playing squash professionally only two years ago.   -  Special Arrangement

In just two years of playing professional squash, Abhishek Agarwal has made the fraternity look up, with a string of fine performances.

The 26-year-old from Mumbai made two semifinals of the PSA Challenger Tour in 2019-20 -- one in Mumbai ($20,000 prize money) and the other in Jaipur ($5000) apart from doing well in smaller tournaments outside India, notably in Qatar.

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His fine run last year has seen him move up to a career-best world ranking of 133, making him the sixth highest-ranked Indian in the world.

Abhishek’s rise could be attributed to the tournaments Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) organised in India in collaboration with HCL from the year 2017.

The HCL Indian Challenger Tour in Willingdon Club in Mumbai in December last year gave Abhishek a huge jump in rankings. “That was a big event for me. I was given a wild card by SRFI. Reaching the semifinals was huge as I beat three higher-ranked players on my way to the last four,” he said.

Earlier, Abhishek had represented India for the first time in the South Asian Games last year in Kathmandu, where India won the silver in the men’s team event.

“Getting to spar with Harinder Pal Singh and interact with coaches Dhiraj [Singh] sir and Mekhala [Subedar] madam was a great learning curve,” he  said.

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Abhishek has also donned the role of referee in a few International PSA events, the 2015 National Games in Kerala and Senior Nationals, which has helped him get a better perspective of the sport. He, however, gave it all up to focus on his playing career. He still offers private coaching in Mumbai as it helps him financially when he travels for tournaments.

He is eager to break into the top-100 as soon as possible and try to get into the Indian senior team. “I know it is very tough, but I can make it if I train harder. I have some plans, one of which is training in Trinity College in USA with Vikram Malhotra once the pandemic subsides, he said.