HCL-SRFI Tour: Mahesh in final, to play top seed

Mahesh Mangaonkar came back from 1-2 down to win 3-2 in the men's semifinal of the Chennai leg of the HCL-SRFI India squash tour.

Mahesh Mangaonkar (in green) during a match against Harinder Pal Singh in the men's semifinal of the Chennai leg of the HCL-SRFI India squash tour on Wednesday.

Mahesh Mangaonkar (in green) during a match against Harinder Pal Singh in the men's semifinal of the Chennai leg of the HCL-SRFI India squash tour on Wednesday.   -  M Vedhan

Mahesh Mangaonkar beat Harinder Pal Sandhu 8-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7 in the men's semifinal of the Chennai leg of the HCL-SRFI India squash tour, a PSA Challenger tour, at the Indian Squash Academy (ISA) on Wednesday.

Mahesh came back from 1-2 down to win 3-2.

"When I was 1-2 down, all I could think was just staying calm and doing what was in my control. Like, getting the ball to the back, making sure I was hitting the corners, tightening up as much as possible," he said after the match.

The 25-year-old said he's finding it difficult to adjust to the conditions here.

“Since the first round here, it’s been difficult to get used to the conditions. These courts are like very different from the other courts around the world. And especially the glass court (centre court) is not like an usual glass court. It plays completely different from the other glass courts. So, getting used to the bounce off the floor took me a lot of time.

"The floor is quite slippery. The ball, kind of, slips. So, you really have to time your shot well, get under the ball, and just find that sweet spot every time," he said.

He will face the top seed Ivan Yuen of Malaysia in the final on Thursday.

READ: SRFI India Squash Tour: Aditya Jagtap reaches semifinals

Speaking about it, he said: "I think tomorrow (Thursday) is also going to be the same (adjusting to the conditions). I just have to be better prepared for it. But yes, the last time we played, it was close - like, 14-12 in the fifth game. It was a long time ago. Hopefully I’ll find my best squash tomorrow.

"I haven’t really found my groove in this tournament yet. ‘Cause I’m actually getting adjusted, trying to adjust. And just focus on things that are working on that particular day."

The results (semifinals, Indians unless mentioned): Men: Ivan Yuen (Mal) bt Aditya Jagtap 11-2, 11-9, 12-10; Mahesh Mangaonkar bt Harinder Pal Sandhu 8-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7.

Women: Rachel Arnold (Mal) bt Aifa Azman (Mal) 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7; Menna Hamed (Egy) bt Jemyca Aribado (Phi) 13-11, 11-1, 11-9.