NSCI Junior Open: Aakanksha Salunkhe and Ranjit Singh reach final

Goa’s unseeded Akanksha Salunkhe playing in a higher category humbled top seeded Vruddhi doshi in three quick games in a girls’ under-19 semi-final match of the Rs. 6 lakh prize-money All-India NSCI Junior Open Squash 2015, an SRFI 4-Star Ranking event, and played at the NSCI’s courts, Worli, on Wednesday afternoon.

The 16-year-old Akanksha, who is India’s number one in under-17 category demonstrated excellent control and hit some superb winners against Madhya Pradesh's Vruddhi Doshi who struggled throughout and was often caught on the wrong foot. Akanksha who was in full flow, showed better consistency hitting 27 winners and made only 2 errors conceded juts 7 points in the entire match to complete an authoritative 11-2, 11-1, 11-4 victory.

In the final Akanksha, will take on second the seed Aishwarya Bhattacharya who scored a convincing straight games win against compatriot and joint third seed Jui Kalgutkar 11-5, 11-9, 5-11, 11-6.

Later in the evening, Boys U-19 Krish Kapur of West Bengal put up a brave dogged display as he rallied from the loss of the opening game to dash the hopes of home favorite and top seed Yohan Pandole. Krish fought hard and chased every ball to blunt the challenge from opponent and march to a deserving 10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 11-5 victory.

On the side court, boys U-19 Ranjit Singh of Uttar Pradesh engaged second seed Aishwary Singh in a long tense battle before coming through in five games at 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 10-12, 12-10.

Meanwhile, in a girl’s under-15 semi-final clash, Chandigarh's Jannia Singh the joint third seed showed plenty of perseverance and fighting spirit to sideline Darshana Vasudevan (TN) 1-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-8 to advance to the finals.

In the Girls U-17 semi-finals, top-seeded Nikita Joshi of Maharashtra easily defeated state mate Aakanksha Rao in straight games 11-6, 11-2, 11-1 and Diya Joukani (MH) beat 2-Koel Shankar (MH) 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-6.

In another major upset in Boys U-11 category, 5/8 Jaivir Singh Dhillon of Delhi stunned top seed Paarth Ambani of Maharashtra in four games winning 11-8, 1-11, 11-5, 11-9.

Prize distribution ceremony – It is mandatory that all players finishing in the top 8 positions in all categories attend the prize distribution ceremony that will be held at NSCI premises on 13th August at 6:30 PM followed by participating players dinner at 7.30 PM. Please note, Trophies, Cash prize and Certificate will only be awarded to the players themselves.

FINALS11:00 GU11 C2 Final Yuvna Gupta (MH)[1] Vs (TN) Pooja Arthi R[2]11:40 BU11 C2 Final Jaivir Singh Dhillon (DL)[5/8] Vs (MH) Vivaan Shah[3/4]12:20 GU13 C2 Final Megha Bhatia (DL)[1] Vs (MH) Ananya Dabke[2]13:00 BU13 C2 Final Neel Joshi (MH)[1] Vs (TN) Kanhav Nanavati[3/4]13:40 GU15 C2 Final Navmi Sharma (MH)[1] Vs (CH) Jannia Singh[3/4]14:20 BU15 C2 Final Veer Chotrani (MH)[1] Vs (MH) Rahul Baitha[2]15:00 GU17 C2 Final Nikita Joshi (MH)[1] Vs (MH) Diya Joukani[3/4]15:40 BU17 C2 Final Robin Singh Mann (DL)[1] Vs (MH) Aryaman Adik[3/4]16:20 GU19 C2 Final Akanksha Salunkhe (GA) Vs (MH) Aishwarya Bhattacharya[2]17:00 BU19 C2 Final Krish Kapur (WB)[5/8] Vs (UP) Ranjit Singh[9/16]

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