Top seed Mahesh Mangaonkar tuned up for tougher battles ahead at the Asian Games by overcoming a fighting Abhishek Pradhan to lift the title in the 43rd Maharashtra State Men’s Squash tournament in Mumbai on Friday.
Mangaonkar, a member of the Asiad squad, got the better of third seed Pradhan in the all-Mumbai final 11-8, 12-10, 12-10 to pocket the champion’s purse of Rs 1.3 lakh. Pradhan received Rs 75,000 for his runner-up finish in the tournament.
Pradhan, who reached the final after some hard-fought victories, took some time to settle down, enabling title favourite Mangaonkar to clinch the opening game.
The second game was much more competitive with fortunes swinging back and forth, leading up to 10-10 before the top seed stepped up his game and managed to grab the next two points for a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five game match.
The story was repeated in the third game with Pradhan failing to convert his chances and losing it over extra points to squander the title.
After his victory Mangaonkar, who did not drop a single game on his way to the title, said, “Bombay Gymkhana has been a lucky place for me as I have given some of my best performances here. I had a very good final with my close friend so it was fun.”
“It was nice to have my family come and support me which helped me to step up my performance in the tie- breakers”, he added.