SRFI India Squash Tour: Mangaonkar enters quarterfinals

Mahesh Mangaonkar beat Benjamin Aubert of France in the second round of the Chennai leg of SRFI India Squash Tour to qualify for the quarterfinals.

Mahesh Mangaonkar (in action) against Benjamin Aubert of France at the HCL-SRFI India Squash Tournament on Monday.   -  R. Ragu

India's Mahesh Mangaonkar, seeded two, beat Benjamin Aubert of France 13-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7 in the men’s second round of the Chennai leg of the HCL-SRFI India squash tour, a PSA Challenger tour, at the Indian Squash Academy (ISA) here on Monday.

Mahesh was in discomfort and went off the court for a few minutes on 1-1 in the third game.

“The third game just physically hit me. I started feeling very dizzy, felt like throwing up. And I’ve just actually been in my best physical shape! It’s just the conditions over here are very tough. They don’t switch on the air conditioner and that affects the players a lot. We get tired in, like, 15 to 20 minutes.

“After resumption, taking the lead in the fifth game was very essential. It was very tough. I’m happy that I somehow scraped through. I was, like, happy to get through the fifth game,” he said after the match.

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Mahesh got the better of the same opponent in the Irish Open in April.

He will face Tsz Kwan Lau of Hong Kong in the quarterfinal on Tuesday.

On facing him, he said, “He (Kwan Lau) has actually played really well lately. He’s just come off the junior circuit, and so, he’s super confident. I feel I need to be on my toes. I have to close down the court a lot against him, not give him too many angles, because he’s very tricky. He has good shots to the front. He can close out the rallies quickly. I have to make sure that the ball is deep and wide, away from him.”