Top seed and India No 3 Mahesh Mangoankar warmed up for his stint in the Asian Games later this month by taking his appointed place in the final of the Maharashtra State Men’s Open Squash tournament in Mumbai on Thursday.
Mangoankar will take on second seed Abhishek Pradhan on Friday in an all-Mumbai title clash of the edition of the tournament at the Bombay Gymkhana.
In the semi-final round, Mangaonkar brought out his best game against giant-killer Yash Fadte of Goa who could not match the speed and skills of the top seed and was beaten 11-2, 11-7, 11-3.
In the other semi-final clash, second seed Pradhan had to work hard for his victory over fourth seed Gaurav Nandarjog, of Delhi who is also a senior player.
It was a close first game with both the players notching points in quick intervals but the local player regained control of the game winning the tiebreaker 16-14. But he could not maintain the momentum and lost the second 9-11 making the scores level.
Later, Pradhan did not waste much time and quickly finished off his opponent with a 16-14, 9-11, 11-3, 11-5 scoreline to reach the final.
“It is always fun playing with Mahesh. While we have played a lot against each other as juniors the last time I played him in a final was eight years ago. I look forward to playing against him and with his current form he is going to be a very tough competitor and it will be an exciting finish to this tournament,” Pradhan said about the summit contest.