Neel Joshi shocks second seed to reach quarter-finals of British Junior Open Squash
National Champion Neel Joshi produced the shock of the day to secure his berth in the quarter-finals of the Boys U13 event at the prestigious British Junior Open Squash Championships at Sheffield on Sunday. The 9/16 seeded Joshi put up a superb show of stamina to upset the second seed Mohamed Mostafa of Egypt in five gruelling games – 5/11, 11/4, 12/10, 8/11, 11/8.
He will next face local hope Oliver Green who is seeded 5/8.
Joshi was one of two Indians advancing to the quarter-finals on Sunday with the other being Adhitya Raghavan in the Boys U17 section. The National Champion held his nerves well to emerge an 11/3, 3/11, 11/9, 11/6 winner over England’s Adam Corcoran in 34 minutes.
Raghavan has a tough task next as he is up against the second seed Marwan Tarek of Egypt for a place in the semi-finals.
Both Raghavan and Joshi’s female counterparts in the Girls U17 and the Girls U13 events did not enjoy the same fate. Ananya Dabke, who was the 9/16 seed in Girls U13, started with an 11/8, 11/1, 11/7 win over Asia Harris. But she could not keep up the good work in the second round and lost 9/11, 8/11, 3/11 to 5/8 seed Heng Wai Wong of Malaysia.
In Girls U17, Sunayna Kuruvilla bowed out after a 4/11, 5/11, 8/11 third round defeat to 5/8 seed Satomi Watanabe of Japan.
The Indian participants in the U19 section too had a disappointing day as none of them managed to progress. In Girls U19, National Champion Harshit Kaur Jawanda succumbed to a 7/11, 13/11, 5/11, 4/11 defeat to the 5/8 seeded Amelia Henley of England in Round 3.
In the Boys U19 category, the duo of Velavan Senthilkumar and Sandeep Ramachandran crashed out in the same round. While Ramachandran exited after a 5/11, 6/11, 11/8, 8/11 loss to Patrick Rooney, Senthilkumar was beaten 8/11, 4/11, 7/11 by another local player James Peach.
The Boys U15 category too could not bring any cheer as all the three participants made third round exits to Egyptians. While 5/8 seed Tushar Shahani was toppled by 9/16 seed Aly Eltokhy 2/11, 11/7, 5/11, 9/11, Veer Chotrani lost 9/11, 4/11, 5/11 to Yehia Elnawsany.
The third Indian in the field – Yash Fadte – put up a brave fight but was eventually edged by Moustafa Elserty 11/5, 7/11, 6/11, 12/14 after a 47 minute battle.
In Girls U15, 5/8 seed Navmi Sharma reached the third round and will face 9/16 seed Eve Coxon of England for a place in the last-eight. She had earlier prevailed over American Emma Carney 11/5, 11/1, 11/5 in the second round.