The injury-induced eight-month lay-off did a world of good to former National champion Joshna Chinappa. The 26-year-old says she has returned to the sport as a better player in terms of planning, execution and overall approach to the game.

Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing 60th National squash championship at the Calcutta Racket Club, the Chennai-born suffered an ankle injury last August and was forced to rest.

“It was during the rehabilitation, I gave a deep thought to my game.

“The phase was most irritating but then I had no other options but wait for the injury to heel,” she said.

“Once I regained fitness, I began to work with my new coach Ritwik Bhattacharya and learnt to organise my game plan, approach and tactics. “This obviously helped me in beating five players in the top 20,” she said.

The hard work reaped rich dividends as she jumped from 72 to 31 in the rankings.

Thinking player

“Ritwik made me a thinking player from instinctive player and now I can see the results,” she said.

She said players like Dipika Pallikal, Anaka Alankamony and Aparajitha Balamurukan have been doing well in international events.

“We have been doing well internationally. A lot of juniors are also coming up and India’s future is really looking bright,” she said.

Joshna said squash should be included in Olympics.

“The game deserves to be in Olympics. This will help the game grow.”

Joshna and men’s top seed Saurav Ghosal made short work of their opponents to enter the quarterfinals.

The results: Men (round of 16): Saurav Ghosal (TN) bt Ashish Keskar (Ser) 11-3, 11-3, 11-9; Gaurav Nandrajog (Del) bt Ranvijay Singh (TN) 11-9, 11-8, 13-11; Vikas Jangra (Ser) bt Rishi Tandon (TN) 12-10, 11-9, 3-11, 11-1; Ravi Dixit (TN) bt Shravan K. (Ben) 11-6, 11-2, 11-6; Mahesh Mangaonkar (Mah) bt Krish Kapur (Ben) 11-2, 11-5, 11-5; Abhinav Sinha (Mah) bt Arjun Agnihotri (Ser) 7-11, 11-8, 11-1, 9-11, 11-6; Sandeep Jangra (Ser) bt Vivek Dinodia (Ben) 11-7, 11-9, 13-11; Harinder Pal Sandhu (TN) bt Aseem Ingale (Del) 11-4, 11-7, 11-5. Women (round of 16): Joshna Chinappa (TN) bt Anupam Kumari (Bih) 11-0, 11-1, 11-2; Kiran Katoch (J&K) w/o Neha Rani (Bih); Janet Vidhi (Del) bt Jyoti Singh (Bih) 11-0, 11-1, 11-1; Vrishrutyi Sahni (Mah) bt Soni Kumari (Bih) 11-1, 11-2, 11-1; Sachika Ingale (Del) bt Sunny Meatha (Bih) 11-0, 11-0, 11-0; Aishwarya Bhattacharya (Mah) bt Chandani Kumari (Bih) 11-0, 11-0, 11-0; Tamanna (UP) bt Neha Kumari (Bih) 11-0, 11-0, 11-1; Anaka Alankamony (TN) bt Mona Kumari (Bih) 11-2, 11-0, 11-2.

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