PSA Challenger Tour: Abhay Singh upsets Sebastien Bonmalais

The unseeded Abhay Singh defeated the fourth seeded Frenchman while compatriot Mahesh Mangaonkar eased past Egypt's Elkattan to enter the quarterfinals on Tuesday.

India's Abhay Singh (foreground) in action against Sebastien Bonmalais of France in the PSA Challenger Tour squash tournament in Chennai.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

India’s Abhay Singh is one of the few young players, who has been exhibiting quite a lot of promise and potential.

The 22-year-old, world ranked 149 and unseeded here, showed it in ample measure in the men's section of the PSA Challenger Tour squash tournament here on Tuesday, defeating the fourth seed Sebastien Bonmalais of France 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 to progress to the quarterfinals.

Abhay and Mahesh Mangaonkar, the top seed, are the only Indians remaining in the men’s draw. Mahesh eased past Omar ElKattan of Egypt 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 in the pre-quarterfinals.

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It was a day when all the seeded players barring Sebastien and the fifth seeded Urwashi Joshi (women) sailed to the last eight.

Playing against the Frenchman ranked 87 places higher, Abhay seldom panicked and played a largely error-free game. “It’s been a tough period of waiting and grinding. I’ve been waiting for an event for more than a year. I was playing my best squash before the lockdown and I feel like I’ve just picked back up from there,” he said while thanking SRFI Secretary Cyrus Poncha and coach Balamurugan for the improvements in his game.

The results (round of 16):

Men: Yahya Elnawasany (Egy) bt Seif Shenawy (Egy) 11-7, 11-5, 11-9; Karim El Hammamy (Egy) bt Aadit Zaveri 13-11, 12-10, 11-3; Abhay Singh bt Sebastien Bonmalais (Fra) 11-7, 11-7, 11-8; Moustafa El Sirty (Egy) bt Velavan Senthilkumar 3-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-9, 11-1; Mahesh Mangaonkar bt Omar ElKattan (Egy) 11-7, 11-7, 11-5; Todd Harrity (USA) bt Vladislav Titov (Rus) 11-1, 11-9, 11-5; Mazen Gamal (Egy) bt Navaneeth Prabhu (IND) 11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10; Aly Hussein (Egy) bt David Baillargeon (Can) 6-11, 13-11, 11-4, 14-12.

Women:

Aparajitha Balamurukan bt Yoshna Singh 11-9, 17-19, 11-6, 11-6; Malak Kamal (Egy) bt Urwashi Joshi 12-10, 11-5, 11-5;
Tanvi Khanna bt R. Pooja Arthi 11-7, 11-7, 11-2; Hana Moataz (Egy) bt Abhisheka Shannon 11-2, 11-5, 11-4; Sachika Balvani bt Janet Vidhi  11-9, 11-7, 11-5; Sunayna Kuruvilla bt Vasudha Surange 11-5, 11-4, 12-10; Rana Ismail (Egy) bt Varvara Esina (Rus) 11-5, 11-9, 11-2; Sanika Choudhari bt Shameena Riaz 11-5, 11-9, 11-4.
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