India’s challenge in the CCI International JSW Indian Squash Circuit ended at the semi final stage when last man standing, former junior national champion Ramit Tandon, lost tamely to top seed Tarek Momen of Egypt in Mumbai on Friday.
The 26-year-old Tandon, who was fortunate to get a walkover from injured compatriot and defending champion Saurav Ghosal on Thursday in the quarter finals, was outplayed by the world number 4 Egyptian 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 in 38 minutes at the Cricket Club of India.
Only in the third game did Tandon, ranked 68 in the world, lead his rival by more than one point when he went ahead 7-5 before squandering the chance with some loose play.
At this stage, he conceded a ‘stroke’ to the Cairo-born Momen, hit the ball beyond the confines of the court and found the tin to trail 7-8.
Momen, who looked totally in control in the latter parts of the first two games before clinching them, then produced a forehand winner to lead 9-7.
Another superbly essayed forehand drop helped the no. 1 seed to go up to match-ball and then Momen completed the job with a perfectly-executed forehand cross-court winner that left Tandon standing.
It was the second edition running in the tournament that the Indian youngster, ranked 68 on the Professional Squash Association circuit, had been beaten in the last four.
In the previous edition, held in November 2017, Tandon had lost in straight games to Nicolas Mueller of Switzerladnd.
India’s other top hope, national champion Mahesh Mangaonkar, had made his exit in the quarter finals, losing to former world number 1 James Willstrop of England.
Another Indian Vikram Malhotra lost in round two, former national champion Harinder Pal Sandhu pulled out in the first round due to injury while Aditya Jagtap too made a first round exit.