Mumbai: Defending champion Manan Chandra fought back from the brink to beat Dharmender Lilly and retain the National Nine-ball pool title at the Khar Gymkhana here on Tuesday. Down 7-10, the PSPB stalwart rallied brilliantly against his Punjab rival by taking advantage of a few costly errors by Lilly to emerge winner 11-10 in the nail-biting final.

Chandra had a tough time in the semifinal too against former snooker National champion Shyam Jagtiani. He trailed 2-6 before recovering to post a 9-8 win but Lilly easily got past Devendra Joshi 9-6 in the other semifinal. The women's title-clash was won for the first time by Karnataka's Chitra Magimairaj, last year's 8-ball National champion, who defeated Meenal Thakur of Maharashtra 5-2. Chitra outclassed Bengal's Sumiti Damani 5-2 in the semifinal while Meenal surprised her youngster sister, PSPB's Anuja Thakur, 5-2. PTI

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