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Mahesh Mangaonkar reaches quarter-finals of Cactus Classic

Mahesh Mangaonkar is the only Indian playing at the 2016 Cactus Classic.

The Cactus Classic is his first PSA tournament of 2016

While the country’s biggest squash stars keep swelling India’s medal tally at the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati, the 67th ranked Mahesh Mangaonkar is quietly making his mark at the PSA $15, 000 Ganem Vein Institute Cactus Classic 2016 in Phoenix, USA. On Wednesday, the fifth seed edged past 20-year-old Egyptian Karim El Hammamy 13-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7 to book his place in the quarter-finals.

Mangaonkar, who has returned to the Tour after a health issue at the end of 2015, has played just one match so far this year. At the 6th round of the 2016 Premier League held in England in January, the 21-year-old lost a tight encounter to the 34th ranked Malaysian Nafiizwan Adnan in four games.

Pulled off the win in 79 minutes

The Cactus Classic is his first PSA tournament of 2016 and he showed a glimpse of his fighting spirit as he pulled off the win in 79 minutes. It was a tense and heated match where the referee was forced to make 34 decisions but Mangaonkar managed to hold his nerves well for the win.

He next faces the fourth seed Henrik Mustonen of Finland for a place in the semi-finals. The match is scheduled on Friday.

The World No. 57 Finn took 43 minutes to beat South African qualifier Clinton Leeuw 11-4, 13-11, 7-11, 11-6 in his first round on Wednesday.

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