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Saurav, Joshna are the National champions

Saurav dismantles Abhishek while Joshna outlasts Tanvi

Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa have bigger things to achieve on the pro squash tour, but their commitment to play in the SRFI-77th senior Nationals has been exemplary.

The top-ranked Indians on the world arena and the top seeds here justified their billing to bag the men’s and women’s titles for a record 13th and 18th time respectively.

Saurav clinically dismantled Abhishek Pradhan 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 in the men’s final while Joshna encountered a minor scare to outlast Tanvi Khanna 8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 in the women’s summit clash.

Not overawed by the occasion, the 23-year-old Tanvi showcased her repertoire in the first game, rattling the champion with finely executed drops and attacking play from the backcourt.

Taking an 8-2 lead, Tanvi looked like closing out the game in quick time when Joshna clawed her way back to 6-8, but Tanvi raced ahead to pocket the first game.

Delicate drops

The 33-year-old asserted her dominance from the second game. Pushing the Delhi girl to the backcourt with neat angles, Joshna won a lot of points through some delicate drops to Tanvi’s forehand. The third game was a breeze for Joshna.

Tanvi, however, would not leave without a fight. She matched Joshna stroke for stroke from the front as well as from the backcourt in the fourth. Joshna had to produce her best to win each and every point.

Trailing 3-5 in the fourth, Joshna levelled at 5-5. The moment Joshna took a 9-7 lead when Tanvi was forced to hit a forehand to the ‘tin’, it was clear who the winner would turn out to be.

No trouble

Saurav, on the other hand, had no trouble in defeating Abhishek. He led comfortably in all the three games.

“I wasn’t expecting an easy match,” said Joshna about the final. “She (Tanvi) comes prepared. She has improved a lot. This was my hardest match in the Nationals in the last 15 years. My goal is to do well in the 2022 Commonwealth Games.”

Saurav was happy to have tried out a few patters in the event. “I wanted to try out a few things here. A lot of them was executed,” he said.

Sticking to its stand of selecting only the players who took part in the senior Nationals for the Asian Team Championships, Squash Rackets Federation of India said on Saturday that the semifinalists of the premier domestic tournament would form the team for the Asian event to be held in Kuala Lumpur from March 25 to 29.

Team announced

The men’s team includes Saurav Ghosal, Abhishek Pradhan, Abhay Singh and Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu while Joshna Chinappa, Tanvi Khanna, Sunayna Kuruvilla and Sanya Vats are in the women’s team.

The results (final):

Men: 1-Saurav Ghosal (TN) bt 2-Abhishek Pradhan (Mah) 11-6, 11-5, 11-6.

Women: 1-Joshna Chinappa (TN) bt 3/4-Tanvi Khanna (Del) 8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 2:42:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/saurav-joshna-are-the-national-champions/article30830232.ece

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