Top-seeded Dipika Pallikal of Tamil Nadu conceded a total of eight points in two rounds while her State-mate and second seed Anaka Alankamony two more — a reflection of how one-sided the matches were in the women's section of the 59th senior National squash championships at the Indian Squash Academy here on Wednesday.
However, there were quite a few engrossing contests in the men's section that more than made up for the lacklustre show in the women's.
Nineteen-year-old Karan Malik of Tamil Nadu, a junior (u-17) National champion in 2008, upstaged Vikas Jangra of Services (5/8 seed) 11-3, 11-9, 5-11, 0-11, 11-6 to make his maiden entry into the quarterfinals, where he will take on top-seeded Saurav Ghosal.
Ghosal scripted a facile 11-3, 11-1, 11-2 win over qualifier Arjun Agnihotri of Services.
Tamil Nadu's Kush Kumar, all of 16 years, nearly pulled off a victory over Gaurav Nandrajog (5/8 seed), but the 26-year-old from Delhi used his vast experience, coming back from being a matchball down to win 6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 9-11 12-10.
Karan dominated the rallies in the first two games, moving Vikas around with fine placements and tiring him out. Vikas, employed with the Navy as an officer in Mumbai, gave a glimpse of his skill in the third and fourth games with wonderful drop shots and trickle boasts. The deciding fifth game saw Karan getting a hold on the proceedings, pinning Vikas to the backhand quite often to finish off points.
Women: (Pre-quarterfinals): Dipika Pallikal (TN) bt Nehaarika Balamurukan (TN) 11-4, 11-2, 11-1; Tanvi Khanna (Del) bt Likhitta Dugar (TN) 11-4, 11-1, 11-3; R. Lakshya (TN) bt Vedika Arun (TN) 11-5, 11-1, 11-2; Ankita Sharma (Mah) bt Shamika Reddy (TN) 11-4, 11-6, 11-4; Aparajitha Balamurukan (TN) bt Ashita Bhengra (TN) 11-6, 11-5, 11-3; Saai Meera (TN) bt Shibani Philip (TN) 12-10, 6-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6; Anaka Alankamony (TN) bt A.V. Apoorva (TN) 11-1, 11-2, 11-3.
First round: Dipika bt N.J. Pavithra (TN) 11-0, 11-0, 11-1; Nehaarika bt Soni Kumari (Bih) 11-1, 11-1, 11-1; Likhitta bt Sunayna (TN)11-5, 11-3, 7-11, 11-8; Tanvi w/o Vaishanavi (TN); Lakshya w/o Lina Pravin (TN); Vedika bt R. Jane Preetha Princy (TN) 11-2, 11-2 11-2; Shamika bt Jyoti Singh (Bih) 11-2, 11-0, 11-0; Ankita bt Sunny Mehta (Bih) 11-2, 11-0, 11-2; Aparajitha w/o Yashmin Khatoon (Bih); Ashita Bengera bt Bhawani Bharti (Bih) 11-0, 11-1, 11-0; Shibani bt Priyadarshini (TN) 11-1, 11-1, 11-4; Saai Meera w/o W. Brindha (TN); Mayuri (TN) bt Janvi Rathore (TN) 11-5, 11-6 11-4; Lakshmi Sruthi (TN) bt Lavanya (TN) 11-4, 11-1, 11-1; Apoorva bt S. Thivya (TN) 11-2, 11-0, 11-1; Anaka bt Anupam Kumari (Bih) 11-1, 11-2, 11-1.
Men (pre-quarterfinals): Sandeep Jangra (Ser) bt Deepak Mishra (TN) 11-6, 11-2, 11-3; Gaurav Nandrajog (Del) bt Kush Kumar (TN) 6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 9-11 12-10; Ravi Dixit (TN) bt Vrishab Kotian (TN) 11-2, 6-11, 11-8, 11-7; Karan Malik (TN) bt Vikas Jangra (Ser) 11-3, 11-9, 5-11, 0-11, 11-6; Mahesh Mangaonkar (Mah) bt Akshay Deepak (TN) 11-7, 11-8, 11-1; Harinder Pal Sandhu (TN) bt Maninder Pal Singh (Chd) 11-9, 12-10, 11-4; Saurav Ghosal (TN) bt Arjun Agnihotri (Ser) 11-3, 11-2, 11-1; Siddharth Suchde (Mah) bt Ashray Ohri (Del) 11-3, 11-8, 11-2.
Keywords: National squash championships