India’s top-ranked Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa proved to be a cut above the rest. The two fashioned fluent victories in the semifinals of the 60th National squash championship at the Calcutta Racket Club here on Saturday.
Ghosal, a local lad, representing Tamil Nadu in this meet, found his Statemate Ravi Dixit in challenging mood as the two traded points in the first game.
Ghosal, slow to get into rhythm, conceded some easy points early on but tightened up his game as the play progressed. Once he won the first game at 11-9, there was no stopping him as Dixit began to tire. The next two games went in favour of the top seed at 11-4, 11-7, though the third set saw a bit of rally with Dixit winning a few points and getting the applause.
Ghosal will take on second seed Harinder Pal Sandhu who tamed the third seed Mahesh Mangoankar in a five-set thriller.
The women’s semifinals were a contrasting one. As the top seeded Joshna Chinappa of Tamil Nadu strolled past fourth seed Vrishrutyi Sahni of Maharashtra, the second seed Anaka Alankamony of Tamil Nadu found Delhi’s Sachika Ingale a tough nut to crack. Finally the teenager came through in four games.
Vrishrutyi gave all she had in the first game in a bid to extend the top seed. Joshna, who looked to be always in a hurry, allowed her opponent to tire and then took out the first game conceding eight points.
Thereafter Joshna gave no chance to her hapless rival and won the contest in a jiffy giving away only a point each in the second and third games.
Anaka looked to be cruising past the third seed Sachika when she won the first two sets at 11-3, 11-3. The Delhi lady roared back to snatch the third at 5-11 and made a valiant bid to win the fourth as well to force the match into the decider. Anaka held on to her lead in the fourth game and at 10-all pulled away to win the game at 12-10 and the match.
This is Anaka’s third entry into the final. In her only meeting Anaka was beaten by Joshna in 2010. She lost to Dipika Pallikal in last year’s final. Anaka will be playing against Joshna for the second time in a competition on Sunday. “It is tough to play Joshna. She is much improved player after the break,” said the second year computer science student of SSN College in Chennai.
Semifinals: Men: Saurav Ghosal (TN) bt Ravi Dixit (TN) 11-9, 11-4, 11-7; Harinder Pal Sandhu (TN) bt Mahesh Mangoankar (Mah) 11-5, 8-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7.
Women: Joshna Chinappa (TN) bt Vrishrutyi Sahni (Mah) 11-8, 11-1, 11-1; Anaka Alankamony (TN) bt Sachika Ingale (Del) 11-3, 11-3, 5-11, 12-10.