SQUASH / Rishi & Tushar put up a gritty show
CHENNAI: After the high of Saturday, when the finals of the various Open events were gone through, it was relatively calm on Sunday as the inter-State phase and he National doubles championship got underway at the ICL academy.
As always, the first round competition did not throw up much excitement except at the end of the day when two 13-year-old kids from Tamil Nadu, Rishi Tandon and Tushar Kothari, extended the Services pair of A. Choudhary and Sandeep Singh to five games.
Not till the last point was taken, with the decisive game going on extended points, was anything predictable. Such was the closeness of the contest that the two children brought in.
Otherwise it was routine smooth sailing. For the freshly crowned National champion Saurav Ghosal it happened to be a rest day because he and his partner Harinder Pal Singh were given a walk over by their opponents from Madhya Pradesh.
Maharashtra pulls out
The inter-State competition also went on expected lines. Only the men were on view today. Maharashtra has not fielded even though it had sent in the entry initially. There is no official explanation on why the team withdrew. There is much interest on the two Tamil Nadu outfits made up of players trained in the academy.
TN women favoured
In the women’s section, the top two finishers of Tamil Nadu, Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal are not participating in the inter-State phase because they have a commitment to play in a WISPA tournament in Malaysia. To that extent the event is devoid of some glamour but in terms of strength Tamil Nadu still is the favourite to clinch the title.
Inter-State: Men: Pool A: Tamil Nadu ‘A’ bt Jammu & Kashmir 3-0; Uttar Pradesh ‘A’ bt Uttaranchal 3-0; Tamil Nadu ‘A’ bt Uttar Pradesh ‘A’ 3-0. Pool B: Delhi ‘A’ bt Rajasthan ‘B’ 3-0; Chandigarh ‘A’ bt Uttar Pradesh ‘B’ 3-0.
Pool C: Tamil Nadu ‘B’ bt Delhi ‘B’ 3-0; Chandigarh ‘B’ bt Jammu & Kashmir ‘A’ 3-0.
Pool D: Services bt Karnataka 3-0; West Bengal bt Haryana 3-0.
Doubles championship: Men: First round: Saurav Ghosal & Harinder Pal Singh (TN) w/o Anshul Agarwal & Tarik Goud (MP); Pratik Baweja & Kapil Murjani (Raj) bt Pandyan & Pratap Premnath (TN) 11-4, 11-9, 10-11 (0-2), 11-10 (4-2); Prateek Chalia & Sidharth Sharma (ND) bt Abhishek Jai Singh & Hari Narayan Tripathi (U.P.) 11-3, 11-6, 11-9.
S. Kali Muthu & Vinodh (TN) bt Karan & Saurabh Nayar (Chd) 11-5, 11-5, 11-9; Karan Malik & Ramit Tandon (TN) bt Alankrit & Vijay Singh (Raj) 11-4, 11-5, 11-4; Vicky Nayar & Khushwant Singh (Chd) bt Narayan & Roy Santosham (TN) 11-5, 11-3, 11-10 (5-3); Girish Sawalani & Paramjit Singh (TN) bt Raghav Bahl & Gurshmir Singh (ND) 11-5, 11-3, 11-0; Vikram Malhotra & Niraj Shirgaokar (Mah) bt Balaji S & Ganpat Vishvanathan (TN) 11-6, 11-0, 11-2.
Vikas Jangra & Shakti Singh (SSB) bt A. Ganesan & K.S. Srikanth (TN) 11-3, 11-2, 11-6; Desappan & V. Laxman (TN) bt Dharmesh & Nakul Lodha (Raj) 8-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5; A. Choudhary & Sandeep Singh (Ser) bt Rishi Tandon & Tushar (TN) 11-4, 10-11 (5-7), 7-11, 11-10 (2-0), 11-10 (4-2); Parthiban Ayappan & Ravi Dixit (TN) bt Uday Das & Farid Singh (ND) 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5; Tripathi Dalip & Das Gautam (WB) bt Mohd. Saquib & Bhim Sagar (UP) 11-8, 11-4, 11-4; Cyrus Poncha & Hari Om Tripathi (TN) bt Vinod Bellani & B. Kamal. (TN) 11-4, 11-8, 11-10 (1-0); Sohail Kapur & Amjad Khan (ND) bt Shiv Kumar & Vijay (TN) 11-5, 11-3, 11-5; Naresh Kumar & Parth Sharma (TN) bt Karan & Vinayak Thakur (CHD) 11-6, 11-2, 11-3.