Chennai: Top seed Khayal Muhammad Khan of Pakistan and second seed Ritwik Bhattacharya of India, will lead the list of contenders for the fourth ICL Chennai Open (PSA) squash championship, which begins on Thursday, at the ICL-TNSRA squash academy.
Sixteen players from various countries will be taking part in the $10,000 prize fund event, which concludes on June 18. "The tournament has been upgraded to a one-star event," said SRFI secretary general N. Ramachandran.
Besides defending champion Ritwik (ranked 49), the other Indian direct entrants are fourth seed Saurav Ghosal (ranked 64) and Parthiban Ayappan (wildcard). Yasir Butt (Pakistan), Majid Khan (Pakistan), Dylan Bennett (Netherlands), Tom Richards (England), Rob Sutherland (Wales), Timothy Arnold (Malaysia), Wai Hang Wong (Hong Kong) and Marton Szaboky (Hungary) make up the remaining direct entrants' list.
Three Indians qualify
Indians Naresh Kumar, Harinderpal Singh and Gaurav Nandrajog won the second and final qualifying round, and entered the main draw of the event.
The results (qualifying round): Gaurav Nandrajog bt Mohd. Nafizwan 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7; Harinderpal Singh bt Nafzahizam Adnan 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-10; Neil Hitchens bt Vikas Jangra 11-5, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7; Naresh Kumar bt Shahril Shahidan 10-11 (0-2), 10-11 (0-2), 11-7, 11-6, 11-7.