Indian Junior Open: Tushar Shahani and Yash Fadte progress

Tushar Shahani and Yash Fadte
Tushar Shahani and Yash Fadte

Boys U-17 top seed Tushar Shahani entered the third round as the prestigious 8th Indian Junior Open – a four star rated tournament – got under way in Jaipur on Wednesday. The 15-year-old Mumbai boy, who received a first-round bye, did not even have to touch his racquet as his second round opponent Anirudh Sherman gave a walkover.

The BU15 Sub-Junior National champion will next face Madhya Pradesh’s Ronit Kotwani for a place in the fourth round. The current No. 1 player in the Boys U-17 category has been in great form and won two consecutive BU17 events in May and June.

The second-seeded Chi Ho Chan of Hong Kong, meanwhile, had no problems in making a smooth progress to the third round. Chan dropped just seven points to record an 11-2, 11-3, 11-2 win over India’s Abhir Khanna.

The Indian Junior Open, which has a prize money of INR 6,00,000, will continue till September 4. The event which has no qualifying rounds will see competition in five categories – U11, U13, U15, U17 and U19 in both the boys and the girls sections.

In the girls’ U-17 section, Singapore’s Sneha Sivakumar is the top seed and will give a tough competition to the second seed Amita Gondi of Telangana.

In Boys U-19, Abhay Singh, who helped India finish sixth at the recently-concluded World Junior Squash Team Championship, has been given the top billing. He will be taking on Loveneet Singh Ahluwalia in his second round match after a first round bye. The latter showed tremendous guts in edging past Rajasthan’s Siddharth Rathore 11-3, 10-12, 9-11, 11-2, 11-8 on Wednesday.

Hong Kong player Cheuk Nam Matthew Lai is seeded No. 2 and will square off against Yashwir Singh Hooda.

The top-seeded U-19 Goa girl Akanksha Salunkhe, one of the best Indian juniors, will start her campaign against the winner of the contest between the 5/8th seeded Sanika Choudhari and Divyakriti Singh. Sunayna Kuruvilla is the second seed here and is likely to meet the 5/8th seeded Oma Choudhary in her opener.

In the Boys U-15 age group, top seed Yash Fadte grabbed his berth in the third round after a dominating 11-1, 11-1, 11-3 triumph over Nakshatra Sharma. In the girls’ event of the same age group, top seed Megha Bhatia will look start her title challenge against local girl Nayanika Bhardwaj.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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