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Squash Nationals qualifying: Neel Joshi and Tushar Shahani bow out

The main draw action starts on Thursday.

Neel Joshi
Neel Joshi was knocked out of the tournament by Maninder Pal Singh Sandhu

Rising youngsters Neel Joshi and Tushar Shahani bowed out of the 73rd Senior National Squash Championships as the second day of qualifying took place at the Otters Club in Bandra, Mumbai on Wednesday.

Out of the five rounds of qualifying in the men’s draw, four have so far been done and the final round will be played on Thursday morning, the same day on which the main draw action starts.

But it will not feature the British Junior Open bronze medallist Neel Joshi and BU15 Sub-Junior National champion Tushar Shahani as they both lost their fourth round matches.

A day after winning a close five-game match, the 13- year-old Joshi had a heartbreaking defeat as he ended up on the losing side of a tight five-game thriller after squandering a two-game lead. The Maharashtra teenager was beaten 11-7, 11-8, 3-11, 3-11, 10-12 by the 9/16 seeded Maninder Pal Singh Sandhu.

Shahani, seeded 17/32nd, too met with the same fate. He was defeated by the 9/16 seeded Rishi Jalan, 3-11, 9-11, 7-11.

There was no such problem for the top two seeds who progressed smoothly into the final round. While the No. 1 seed Gaurav Nandrajog beat Yohann Surti 11-2, 11-6, 11-4, the No. 2 seed Siddharth Suchde prevailed over Aran Thawani 11-4, 11-4, 11-4.

Some of the other promising youngsters who are still in the hunt for the eight berths in the main draw are Veer Chotrani, Krish Kapur, Aryaman Adik and Advait Adik.

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