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Updated: December 10, 2011 00:16 IST

Harinder to meet Saurav Ghosal

K. Keerthivasan
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GREAT PLAY: Harinder Pal Sandhu in action against Siddharth Suchde in Chennai on Friday. Photo: K. Pichumani
The Hindu GREAT PLAY: Harinder Pal Sandhu in action against Siddharth Suchde in Chennai on Friday. Photo: K. Pichumani

Dipika to face off against Anaka

Siddharth Suchde, a man who knows his onions is, however, clueless about one thing. Despite his higher international ranking and seeding in India, he has been unable to solve the Harinder Pal Sandhu puzzle.

The 26-year-old from Maharashtra has not put it across the Indian Squash Academy trainee in any of the pervious Nationals. The men's semifinals of the 59th senior National squash championships here on Friday became the third successive time that Siddharth had failed to beat Harinder.

In a high quality contest where none gave an inch, the 21-year-old from Tamil Nadu prevailed 11-5, 11-8, 12-10 in 53 minutes.

Harinder kept pace with Siddharth throughout, whether it was rushing to Siddharth's drop or reacting to his fierce backhand whiplash. Harinder was patient and bid his time to unleash his shots and the ploy worked.

After two relatively easy games, Siddharth upped the ante in the third. He pushed Harinder to the maximum with deft backhand counter drops and overall better court coverage.

Siddharth even had a game point at 10-9, but Harinder equalised and finished off the match when Siddharth's backhand kissed the tin.

Harinder said the win showed that he has the skill and the ability to further improve his international rankings — he is ranked 113 to Siddharth's 64.

“Having trained with Siddharth and Saurav Ghosal for international tournaments has made me hone my game,” he said.

Siddharth was unable to give a plausible reason for his loss. “I don't know why (I keep losing to Harinder). The Nationals have been bad for me. I need to break it once,” he said.

The No.1 seed Saurav Ghosal reached his sixth successive final routing Ravi Dixit 11-4, 11-7, 11-6. Saurav bulldozed Ravi with stylish crosscourt backhand drops and better backcourt play.

Saurav will have the advantage going into the final as he has beaten Harinder in the final of the two previous editions.

As expected the top two seeds in the women's section will play in the summit clash. Dipika Pallikal, the overwhelming favourite, will clash with Anaka Alankamony.

Dipika made short work of Ankita Sharma 11-2, 11-6, 11-5 while Anaka scripted a facile 11-8, 11-4, 11-3 win over Aparajitha Balamurukan.

On the final, Anaka said it would be a good exposure playing Dipika. “I'll put my best foot forward,” she said.

The results (semifinals): Men: Harinder Pal Sandhu (TN) bt Siddharth Suchde (Mah) 11-5, 11-8, 12-10; Saurav Ghosal (TN) bt Ravi Dixit (TN) 11-4, 11-7, 11-6.

Women: Dipika Pallikal (TN) bt Ankita Sharma (Mah) 11-2, 11-6, 11-5; Anaka Alankamony (TN) bt Aparajitha Balamurukan (TN) 11-8, 11-4, 11-3.

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