Asian Squash C'ship: Saurav, Sunayna make India's day

Saurav Ghosal hardly broke a sweat in a ruthless 11-2, 11-3, 11-5 win over Singapore’s Benedict Chan to wrap up a good opening day for Indians at the Jio 19th Asian Individual Squash Championship in Chennai on Wednesday.

Saurav Ghosal in action against Singaore's Benedict Chan in Chennai on Wednesday.   -  V. Ganesan

Saurav Ghosal hardly broke a sweat in a ruthless 11-2, 11-3, 11-5 win over Singapore’s Benedict Chan to wrap up a good opening day for Indians at the Jio 19th Asian Individual Squash Championship in Chennai on Wednesday.

It took just around 20 minutes for the Indian second seed to make it to the pre-quarterfinals after receiving a first-round bye. There was nothing much Chan could do other than feeding easy balls for Ghosal to dictate the play. The Singapore lad showed a lot more intent and packed more power into his shots in the third game, but against the quick-footed Indian, it hardly made a difference.

Velavan Senthilkumar too had an easy day at the office as he enjoyed a comfortable win over Iranian Soheil Shameli. In the absence of Pakistani players, Velavan received a walkover to the pre-quarters. He was originally slotted to play against Pakistan’s Farhan Zaman in the second round. 

With Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa not playing in the opening day of the Championship, the focus was on Sunayna Kuruvilla, the reigning Under-19 champion.

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Cheered on by a big group of family and friends, the 17-year-old Chennaiite breezed past South Korea’s Choi Yura in straight games. The Korean 12th seed looked impatient and gave away too many easy points against the Indian who looked composed despite playing in her first Asian Seniors Championship.

Crowds cheer as the players fight it out at the Asian squash championship at the Express Avenue Mall in Chennai on Wednesday.   -  V. Ganesan

 

“Choi Yura was rushing to her points more than was necessary and I was patient. I think that was the major difference between us,” Sunayna said after the win. 

“I didn’t feel nervous and kept my eyes locked on my family and friends in the gallery. That helped me focus on the match,” she said.

Sunayna will face sixth seed Tong Tsz Wing of Hong Kong in what is expected to be a tough second-round hurdle for the teen. Sachika Ingale and Lakshya R however suffered tough losses to crash out of the tournament. After getting a bye in the first round, Lakshya faced 11th seed Foo Zoe Yuk Han of Malaysia. She pushed her opponent to the edge, but was an unlucky loser after a five-game battle.

For Sachika Ingale, it was an even tougher loss to digest. Against 15-year-old Aifa Azman, Sachika had three match points at 10-7 in the final game. But an injury timeout from her Malaysian opponent, who sprained her ankle while trying to play a ball at the front court, disrupted her flow. The Malaysian began moving well after treatment and pulled off a stunning win.

Vikram Malhotra and Harinder Pal Sandhu also registered comfortable wins to progress to the next round. Max Lee, the men’s top seed, had a safe passage into the pre-quarterfinal. Malaysians too had a perfect day, winning all their encounters that were split between the Indian Squash Academy and the Express Avenue Mall.

 

The Results

MEN'S

Round 2: Max Lee (1), HKG, bt Navid Maleksabet, IRI, 11-8 11-6 11-6; Wong Chi Him (13), HKG, bt Samuel Kang, SIN, 11-4 12-10 11-7; Abdulla Al-Tamimi (6), QAT, bt Waqar Mehboob, PAK, w.o.; Yuen Chee Wern (7), MAS, bt. Ko Young-Jo, KOR, 11-8 11-9 11-7; Ahmad Alsaraj, JOR, bt Tayyab Aslam (12), PAK, w.o..; Yip Tsz Fung (4), HKG, bt Yoo Jae-Jin, KOR, 11-7 11-4 11-6; Ng Eain Yow (14), MAS, bt Park Jong-Myoung, KOR, 11-3 11-3 11-4; Leo Au (5), HKG, bt. Lee Geondong, KOR, 11-6 11-3 11-8; Muhammad Addeen Idrakie, MAS, bt Farhan Mehboob (8), PAK, w.o.; Mohammad Alsarraj (16), JOR, bt Syed Azlan Amjad, QAT, w.o.; Harinder Pal Sandhu (Ind)(15) bt Reymark Begornia (Phil) 11-1, 11-5, 11-4; Velavan Senthilkumar (Ind) bt Farhan Zaman (Pak) (9) w/o; Mohd Narizwan (Mas)(3) bt Aditya Jagtap (Ind) 11-5, 11-6,11-8;

 

Round 1: Navid Maleksabet, IRI, bt Robert Garcia, PHI, 6-11 11-6 11-9 7-11 11-6; Samuel Kang, SIN, bt Arhant Keshar Simha, NEP, 11-4 11-1 11-2; Reymark Begornia, PHI, bt Erfan Jamshidi, IRI, 11-4 11-5 11-3; Velavan Senthilkumar, IND, bt Soheil Shameli, IRI, 11-1 11-5 11-5; Aditya Jagtap, IND, bt Ryunosuke Tsukue, JPN, 9-11 7-11 11-6 11-6 11-4; Yoo Jae-Jin, KOR, bt Pang Ka Hoe, SIN, 11-9 10-12 11-7 12-10; Lee Geondong, KOR, bt David Pelino, PHI, 11-8 11-2 11-6; Alireza Shameli, IRI, bt Amrit Thapa Magar, NEP, 11-5 11-5 11-6; Benedict Chan, SIN, bt Lydio Espinola Jr, PHI, 11-3 11-6 11-5.

 

Women’s:

Round 1: Lee Jihyun, KOR, bt Taba Taghavi (14), IRI, 9-11 11-5 11-6 11-5; Satomi Watanabe (16), JPN, bt Urwashi Joshi, IND, 11-5 12-10 11-3; Rachel Mae Arnold (8), MAS, bt. Park Eunok, KOR, 11-8 11-8 11-6; Liu Tsz Ling (5), HKG, bt Au Yeong Wai Yhann, SIN, 11-9 11-7 11-5; Eum Hwayeong, KOR, bt Ailee Nayeri (15), IRI, 4-11 4-11 11-3 11-6 11-6; Lee Andrea Jia Qi (10), MAS, bt Fereshteh Eghtedari, IRI, 11-5 11-3 11-4; Foo Zoe Yuk Han (11), MAS, bt Lakshya R., IND, 7-11 11-4 9-11 11-6 11-6; Sunayna Kuruvilla, IND, bt Choe Yura (12), KOR, 11-4 11-8 11-8; Tong Tsz Wing (6), HKG, bt Ghazal Sharafpour, IRI, 11-4 11-1 11-4; Misaki Kobayashi (7), JPN, bt Yvonne Alyssa Dalida, PHI, 12-10 11-1 11-2; Aifa Azman, MAS, bt Sachika Ingale (9), IND, 11-7 11-6 7-11 11-13 13-11; Jemyca Aribado (13), PHI, bt Sneha Sivakumar, SIN, 11-5 11-2 11-9.