It turned out to be a grand week for Indian squash ace Mahesh Mangaonkar as he clinched the title at the PSA $15,000 Sekisui Open at Kriens, Switzerland on Sunday. The fifth seed put up a determined display to stave off a tough challenge from the third seed and defending champion Kristian Frost Olesen of Denmark, 12-10, 7-11, 12-10, 11-13, 11-8.
This is the Mumbai-born player’s fifth career PSA title and his first since winning the JSW PSA Squash Circuit 2 in October, 2014.
The title comes after a struggle last year with his form and health issues. The World No. 65 reached only one final in 2015 at the NSCI Open at home but went down to the top seed Adrian Waller in four games.
In December, the 21-year-old had to opt for a health-related hiatus from the Tour and came back only in February. He started showing flashes of his brilliance right from his first PSA event on his return and made it to the semi-finals of the Cactus Classic.
At the Sekisui Open this week, he grew in confidence as the tournament progressed. He started with a tight four-game victory over 20-year-old Frenchman Baptiste Masotti. But it was the quarter-finals where he came alive and played to his full potential as he upset the second seed Raphael Kandra.
Mangaonkar had a stellar junior career and won the U-15 British Open title in 2009.