Third seed Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu dethroned favourite Saurav Ghosal for his maiden national men’s crown, while Joshna Chinappa helped herself to her 13th women’s title, in the 62nd Senior National Squash Championship held at at the Cricket Club of India, Mumbai.
Sandhu, who led 2-0, denied Ghosal a 10th national title with an 11-2, 11-9, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9 victory, in an absorbing 74-minute championship round that could have gone either way. Top seed Chinappa prevailed over second seed Sachika Ingale of UP 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 in the women’s final.
“I am trying to break Bhuvneshwari Kumari’s record of 16 titles,” revealed Chinappa.
A supremely confident Sandhu, who stunned India No. 2 Mahesh Mangaonkar in the semi-finals, surged to a surprise 2-0 lead before Ghosal lived up to his reputation to force match into the decider with a stunning recovery after snatching the third and fourth sets narrowly while trailing in both.
The decider swung both ways as Ghosal led 3-0 and looked set to retain his crown until Sandhu surged back into the contest for an envious 9-4 lead. Ghosal was down but not out as he drew level at 9-all before Sandhu ended his long wait for the national title with a backhand winner.