The Indian challenge in the world junior squash championships came to an end on Wednesday as Mahesh Mangaonkar and Anaka Alankamony lost their respective quarterfinal matches at Doha.
Mangaonkar went down to second seed Mohamed Abouelghar of Egypt 10-12, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10, 12-10 in a marathon battle that lasted 90 minutes, while Alankamony lost to the higher-ranked Yathreb Adel 11-4, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9 in 37 minutes at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex.
Abouelghar, the 18-year-old from Cairo, recovered from two games down and then saved match balls in both the fourth and fifth games before defeating the 5-8th seed Mangaonkar in a match widely felt to be the best of the championships so far.
“I’m lucky I won, I’m so lucky tonight. Mahesh played superb squash today,” the relieved Egyptian said.
Meanwhile, Alankamony started slowly and only picked up towards the end of the second game. Yathreb was on fire in the first two games, dispatching volley drop shots with ease. In the third, the Indian moved up the court and played some lethal volley drop shots and bounced back into contention.
The fourth game was nail-biting as the two players were level 9-9 before Yathreb stepped up the pace to take two points on the trot to seal the match.
Quarterfinals: Men: Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy) bt Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind) 10-12, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10, 12-10 .
Women: Yathreb Adel (Egy) bt Anaka Alankamony (Ind) 11-4, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9.
Keywords: world junior squash