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Velavan Senthilkumar, Harshit Kaur enter third round of British Junior Open

Velavan Senthilkumar and Harshit Kaur are the reigning U19 National champions

Harashit Kaur Jawanda (extreme left) at the British Junior Open on Saturday (image courtesy: British Junior Open)
Harshit Kaur Jawanda (extreme left) at the British Junior Open on Saturday (image courtesy: British Junior Open)

National U19 champion Velavan Senthilkumar continued his good form as he booked his place in the third round of the prestigious British Junior Open Squash Championships at Sheffield on Saturday. The 17-year-old started his campaign in the Boys U19 section with an 11-3, 11-3, 11-6 victory over Ryan Wilson of England in 13 minutes.

In Round 2, he prevailed over Harry Falconer of England 11-3, 11-6, 11-7 in 30 minutes. He will next meet James Peach of England for a place in the quarter-finals.

Joining him in the third round is National U19 runner-up Sandeep Ramachandran. The 18-year-old had a tough encounter in the first round as he edged past local hope Oliver Harris 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-4 in 57 minutes.

The unseeded Indian continued his march by toppling the 9/16 seeded Basel Ghanem of Egypt, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 in 39 minutes. He will face 5/8 seeded English player Patrick Rooney in the third round.  Meanwhile, Ranjit Singh and Siddarth Choudhary bowed out.

In a very late match, National U19 winner Harshit Kaur Jawanda secured her berth in Round 3 of the Girls U19 event. Jawanda, who received a bye in the first round, beat Wing Hei Jannis Lam of Hong Kong 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 in 21 minutes to reach the pre-quarters. Her next opponent is Amelia Henley of England.

In the Boys U17 section, Adhitya Raghavan is the only Indian to advance to the pre-quarters. The National U17 champion beat Mehran Javed of Pakistan 11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9 and then followed it up with an 11-8, 11-8, 11-7 win over Curtis Malik of England. He will square off against Adam Corcoran in the third round.

However, Yash Bhargava and Aryaman Adik lost and will now fight it out in the Plate.

In the Girls U17, Sunayna Kuruvilla did justice to her selection in the Indian team for the South Asian Games by entering the third round. She prevailed over English girl Emma Campion 11-5, 11-1, 9-11, 11-2 in the opening round and then toppled the 9/16 seed Elise Lazarus 11-9, 11-8, 11-9. She has a tough task in the pre-quarters as she faces the 5/8 seed Satomi Watanabe.

However, Akanksha Salunkhe and Ashita Bhengra’s title aspirations came to an end as both went down in the second round.

In Boys U15, Veer Chotrani, Tushar Shahani, Yash Fadte, Utkarsh Baheti and Saksham Choudhary entered Round 2.

In Boys U13, Neel Joshi reached third round while Kanhav Nanavati exited.

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