Joshna Chinappa and Mahesh Mangaonkar clinched the women’s and men’s singles titles respectively at the National Squash Championships in New Delhi on Sunday. Both were memorable wins for the players for different reasons.
Chinappa matched Bhuvaneswari Kumari’s record of 16 national titles while Mangaonkar claimed his first after contrasting wins. Mahesh beat Vikram Malhotra 11-4, 13-15, 11-2, 5-11, 15-13 while Joshna dominated Urwashi Joshi 9-11, 11-1, 11-6, 11-5.
Mangaonkar had to dig deep against Vikram in a final that saw many twists and turn. That Vikram had three match points to settle the argument but failed to grab them all will haunt this US based player for a long time but that was the kind of luck Mahesh needed to ensure his dream come true.
In comparison, Joshna had it easier against Urwashi Joshi of Maharashtra though the second seed did surprise her by taking the first game.The reigning champion ensured the ride was smooth from there as she won her 16th national title.
Last year, Vikram had edged out Mahesh at a PSA event, the only occasion when the two had met on the professional circuit. But Sunday was a different story.
Initially, Mahesh led Vikram but the US based played came back strongly and even had match points. At 10-9, Vikram seemed all set to take away the title but Mahesh recoiled and from there began the excruciating wait until at 14-13, Mahesh got the all important point to define the moment.
Joshna of course did not have to go through all that tension, ensuring that things went as per her dictates.
Other results: Pro Coach: Parmeet Singh bt Parthiban Aiyappan 11-5, 11-9, 11-4; Men: over 35: Rishad Pandole (Mah) bt Manish Chotrani (Mah) 13-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-5; Over 40: Saurabh Nayar (CH) bt Hemant Nadkarni (Mah) 11-3, 13-11, 11-3; Over 45: Dalip Tripathi (WB) bt Jatin Bery (Del) 11-5, 11-4, 11-3; Over 50: Aashish Kamat (Mah) bt Lalit Advani (Del) 11-5, 11-3, 13-11; Over 55: Dushyant Jamwal (Del) bt Ashun Bahl (Mah) 11-7, 11-6, 11-9; Over 60: Lalit Kumar Agnihotri (Mah) bt Swagat Bam (Del) 12-10, 11-7, 12-10; Over 65: Rajiv Reddy (TN) bt Rajan Gupta (Del) 11-5,11-7, 10-12, 10-12.