Satisfactory day for the Indians

Special Correspondent

Top seed Saurav Ghosal was given a start while Gaurav Nandrajog was pushed to the distance but Indians still had a fairly satisfactory day on the opening day of the main draw matches in the ICL-Chennai Open, a $6000 super satellite squash tournament here on Wednesday.

None reflected the mood better than junior Parth Sharma, the National U-19 champion who dislodged the sixth seed Yasunori Ishiwata of Japan in four games. The Jaipur lad who trains at the ICL academy here is one of the promising juniors waiting for an opportunity to show his prowess at the senior level.

A committed player with good basics, Parth is a fighter and even though Yasunori appeared set to fight back from a deficit, the Indian shut out all the routes in the rival's comeback bid. Parth has a tough quarterfinal match on Thursday against the third seed Dick Lau of Hong Kong, who made short work of another Indian, a qualifier, Sujat Barua.

Touch in time

The highest-ranked Indian and ever the popular player in the city, thanks to his upbringing here at the academy, Ghosal showed his touch in time to wear down B. Balamurugan in straight games. The results: Pre-quarterfinals: Saurav Ghosal (Ind) bt B. Balamurugan (Ind) 11-1, 11-9, 11-9; Naresh Kumar (Ind) bt Colin Ramasra (Trinidad) 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5; Neil Hitchens (Eng) bt Ramit Tandon (Ind) 11-4, 11-3, 11-7; Mohammed E. Shorbagy (Egy) bt Parthiban Ayappan (Ind) 11-8, 11-8, 16-14; Parth Sharma (Ind) bt Yasunori Ishiwata (Japan) 11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7; Dick Lau (Hkg) bt Sujat Barua (Ind) 11-1, 11-6, 11-6; Gaurav Nandrajog (Ind) bt Max Lee (Hkg) 8-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4; Wai Hang Wong (Hkg) bt Ravi Dixit (Ind) 11-3 7-11, 11-8, 12-10.

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