Senior National Squash: Ghosal, Joshna Chinappa win men's, women's titles

Saurav Ghosal clinically dismantled Abhishek Pradhan 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 in the men’s final, while Joshna Chinappa outlasted Tanvi Khanna 8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 in the women’s final.

Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa

Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa pose with the trophies after winning Senior National Squash Championships.   -  M. VEDHAN

Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa have bigger things to achieve on the pro squash tour, but their commitment to play in the SRFI-77th Senior National squash championships has been exemplary.

The top-ranked Indians on the world arena and the top seeds here, the pair justified their billing to bag the men’s and women’s titles for a record 13th and 18th time respectively.

Saurav clinically dismantled Abhishek Pradhan 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 in the men’s final while Joshna encountered a minor scare to outlast Tanvi Khanna 8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 in the women’s summit clash.

Not overawed by the occasion, the 23-year-old Tanvi showcased her repertoire in the first game rattling the champion with finely executed drops and attacking play from the backcourt. Taking an 8-2 lead, Tanvi looked like closing the game in quick time when Joshna clawed her way back to 6-8, but Tanvi raced ahead to pocket the first game.

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The 33-year-old asserted her dominance from the second game. Pushing the Delhi youngster to the backcourt with neat angles, Joshna won a lot of points through some delicate drops to Tanvi’s forehand.

The third game was a breeze for Joshna. Tanvi, however, would not leave without a fight. She matched Joshna stroke for stroke from the front as well as from the backcourt in the fourth. Joshna had to produce her best to win each and every point. Trailing 3-5 in the fourth, Joshna levelled at 5-each. The moment Joshna took a 9-7 lead when Tanvi was forced to hit a forehand to the 'tin', it was clear who the winner would turn out to be.

Saurav, on the other hand, had no trouble in defeating Abhishek. He led comfortably in all the three games.

“I wasn’t expecting an easy match,” said Joshna, on the final. “She (Tanvi) comes prepared before matches. She has improved a lot. This was my hardest match in the Nationals in the last 15 years. My goal is to do well in the 2022 Commonwealth Games.”

Saurav was happy to have tried out a few patters in the event. “I wanted to try out a few things here. A lot of it was executed,” he said.

Sticking to its stand of picking only the players who took part in the Senior Nationals for the Asian Team championships, Squash Rackets Federation of India revealed on Saturday that the semifinalists of the premier domestic tournament would form the team for the Asian event to be held in Kuala Lumpur from March 25 to 29.

Saurav and Joshna became richer with a prize money of Rs. 1,25,000 each.

-Semifinalists find place in Asian Team Championships-

Sticking to its stand of picking only the players who took part in the Senior Nationals for the Asian Team championships, Squash Rackets Federation of India revealed on Saturday that the semifinalists of the premier domestic tournament would form the team for the Asian event to be held in Kuala Lumpur from March 25 to 29.

Men: Saurav Ghosal, Abhishek Pradhan, Abhay Singh, Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu

Women: Joshna Chinappa, Tanvi Khanna, Sunayna Kuruvilla, Sanya Vats

The results (final)

Men: 1-Saurav Ghosal (TN) bt 2-Abhishek Pradhan (Mah) 11-6, 11-5, 11-6.

Women: 1-Joshna Chinappa (TN) bt 3/4-Tanvi Khanna (Del) 8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7.

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