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Cactus Classic Squash 2016: Mahesh Mangaonkar goes down fighting in semi-finals

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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204   //    14 Feb 2016, 19:00 IST
Mahesh Mangaonkar Cactus Classic 2016
Mangaonkar lost to Omar Abdel Meguid 8-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-4

Indian squash ace Mahesh Mangaonkar’s superb run came to an end at the PSA $15, 000 Ganem Vein Institute Cactus Classic 2016 in Phoenix, USA as he went down fighting to the top seed Omar Abdel Meguid in the semi-finals on Saturday. 

The fifth seed won the first game but could not prevent the 33rd ranked Egyptian from coming back to win 8-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-4 in 48 minutes.

Meguid had arrived in Phoenix with great confidence after clinching the PSA M15 Oregon Open title just a week back and was the heavy favourite in this clash. But it was the 67th ranked Mangaonkar who started off with a bang.

With some aggressive display, he put his higher-ranked opponent on the backfoot as he grabbed the opening game 11-8. Meguid, however, staged a brilliant comeback after that as he upped the pace and intensity of his game. 

Keeping the errors in check, he roared back to take the next three games and book his place for Sunday’s final.

The 21-year-old Indian can still be proud of his efforts this week. This was his first PSA tournament since an illness-related hiatus at the end of last year. He won two gruelling matches at the Cactus Classic and even upset the fourth seed Henrik Mustonen in the quarter-finals.

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FEATURED COLUMNIST
A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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