NSCI Juniors: Yohan Pandole and Vruddhi Joshi reach semifinals

Under 19 top seed Yohan Pandole of Maharashtra won comfortably against his state mate Sandeep Paswan 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 wins in a boys’ under-19 quarter-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 Tuesday.

In contrast, second seed Aishwary Singh of Maharashtra had to work hard to overcome compatriot Pranay Jain in five long games before pulling through at 11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6.

In the corresponding girl’s U19 category, top seed Vruddhi Doshi of Madhya Pradesh encountered a strong challenge from Rajasthan’s Riya Sisodia before scrapping through at 5-11, 11-7, 12-10, 3-11, 12-10. On the other hand, second seed Aishwarya Bhattacharya of Maharashtra dropped just four points in beating Sireena Divecha also of Maharashtra 11-2, 11-1, 11-1 to progress to the semi-finals.

In one of the most exciting and absorbing contests of the day, Girls U-15 Mira Kamat and Bhavna Goyal, both from Maharashtra, were engaged in a grim battle for supremacy and the match went the distance before the former clinched the issue by a close 3-2 margin. Mira took time to get into a rhythm and lost the first game without much of fight at 3-11. However, she raised the level of her game in the second and took the fight to her opponent but lost the game over extra points (14-16).

Showing greater determination and endurance, Mira bounced back by winning the next three games on the trot to snatch a hard-earned 3-11, 14-16, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 victory and a passage to the semi-finals.

In Girls U-15 category Mira Kamat of Maharashtra will be playing against ISA’s Darshana Vasudevan, who knocked out second seed Abhilasha Bhasin of Maharashtra, winning quite comfortably in three games at 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 in another quarter-final match.

Meanwhile top seed Navmi Sharma, of Maharashtra defeated Sanya Vats of Delhi 11-7, 11-5, 11-7 in a girls’ U-15 quarter-final match.

In the under-11 encounters, the joint 3-4 seeds Archita Singh and Saisha Gupta, both from Maharashtra crashed out. Unseeded Aasya Patel of Madhya (MP) accounted for Archita coasting to a straight games 11-0, 11-5, 11-6 win, while Tamil Nadu’s S. Akshaya Sri quashed the aspiration of Saisha also winning in three games at 11-9, 11-9, 12-10.

Fresh from World Juniors, Goa’s Akanksha Salunkhe beat Amaya Kothari of Delhi 11-2, 11-2, 11-3 in the Girls U19 category, while Maharashtra’s Jui Kalgutkar prevailed over her state matche Riddhi Sampat of Maharashtra 11-3, 11-5, 11-5.

However, both the joint third seeds in the boy’s U-19 event, Junaid Muzaffar Thoker of Delhi and Raghuvir Reddy of Maharashtra failed to get going and bowed out. Junaid, who had closely won his earlier round despite playing with a back strain, tried his best to put up a fight against Ranjit Singh of Uttar Pradesh but looked uncomfortable and went down in four games at 3-11, 11-9, 6-11, 5-11.

On the adjacent court BU-19 Raghuvir Reddy of Maharashtra looked totally out of sorts against Krish Kapur of west bengal and succumbed to a 7-11, 4-11, 11-13 defeat.

For all the quarterfinal results, click here.

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