Senior Squash Nationals: Joshna Chinappa, Saurav Ghosal advance to semis

Saurav Ghosal will play Abhay Singh in the semifinals of the 77th Senior National squash championships, while Joshna Chinappa will face Sanya Vats.

Joshna Chinappa (L) beat Sachika Balwani during the Senior National Squash Championship at Indian Squash Academy Court in Chennai on Thursday.   -  R. Ragu

Tamil Nadu's Abhay Singh was unsure of his participation in the SRFI-77th Senior National squash championships due to a knee injury. However, he recovered in quick time, thanks to Indian Squash Academy physio Dimple.

Playing an aggressive game from the start, Abhay got the better of Abhishek Agarwal of Maharashtra 11-7, 11-5, 13-11 in the men’s quarterfinals here on Thursday. He will take on the top seed Saurav Ghosal in the last-four. The 21-year-old has been a talent waiting to explode for a while. This year, Abhay has shown a glimpse of his potential and he wants to make it to the Indian men’s team.

He won the British Open U-23 last month and earlier in February he upset World No.79 Shawn Delierre in the first round of Banker’s Hall tournament in Canada before retiring midway against Christopher Gordon in the next round while hurting his knee in the process. This quarterfinal win will boost his confidence.

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Meanwhile, Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu tamed Yash Fadte of Goa 11-7, 11-2, 11-7 in a last-eight match to set up a clash with Abhishek Pradhan, the second seed. Abhishek put it across Gaurav Nandrajog of Delhi 11-6, 11-6, 11-6. A minor upset came when 18-year-old Sanya Vats from Delhi pushed out seasoned and higher-seeded Urwashi Joshi of Maharashtra 11-5, 9-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-3 in the women’s quarterfinals.

Sanya will next take on top-seed Joshna Chinappa, who got the better of Sachika Balvani of Maharashtra 11-4, 11-2, 11-4. Touted as the next big stars after Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal Karthik in the women’s category, Tanvi Khanna and Sunayna Kuruvilla made it to the semifinals with relative ease. The most engrossing semifinal clash on Friday will be the one between Tanvi and Sunayna.

THE RESULTS (QUARTERFINALS):

Men: Saurav Ghosal (TN) beat Rutvik Rau (Mah) 11-3, 11-3, 11-1; Abhay Singh (TN) beat Abhishek Agarwal (Mah) 11-7, 11-5, 13-11; Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (TN) beat Yash Fadte (Goa) 11-7, 11-2, 11-7; Abhishek Pradhan (Mah) beat Gaurav Nandrajog (Del) 11-6, 11-6, 11-6.

Women: Joshna Chinappa (TN) beat Sachika Balvani (Mah) 11-4, 11-2, 11-4; Sanya Vats (Del) beat Urwashi Joshi (Mah) 11-5, 9-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-3; Tanvi Khanna (Del) beat Aparajitha Balamurukan (TN) 11-5, 11-3, 11-8; Sunayna Kuruvilla (TN) beat Sanika Choudhari (Mah) 11-5, 11-2, 12-10.

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