Velavan Senthilkumar reaches quarter-finals of World Junior Individual Squash Championship
18-year-old Velavan Senthilkumar is flying the Indian Tricolour high at the World Junior Individual Squash Championship! The U-19 National champion defeated Pakistan’s Asif Kashif 5-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-3 to book his berth in the quarter-finals of this prestigious event held at Bielsko-Biala in Poland on Monday.
The 9/16 seeded Senthilkumar will next take on the second seed Eain Yow Ng of Malaysia for a place in the semi-finals.
However, curtains came down on the campaign of Adithya Raghavan who bowed out 7-11, 3-11, 9-11 to the 5/8th seeded Frenchman Benjamin Aubert, leaving Senthilkumar as the lone Indian left in the draw.
Superb comeback from Velavan
The left-handed Senthilkumar initially had it very tough against his giant-killer opponent in his Round 4 match. His miseries were compounded further by his flurry of errors and he went on to lose the opening game 5-11.
But the Chennai boy stormed back in spectacular fashion and gave ample glimpses of his immense talent to take the next three games. Attacking with precision, he controlled the forecourt to take the sting out Asif’s racquet. The match lasted 35 minutes.
National coach Cyrus Poncha too was impressed with the way Velavan turned around this fourth round contest.
“It was a fabulous performance. I am happy he is proving himself. Let’s hope he keeps the good work going and wins a medal,” said Poncha.
The teenager needs to win the quarter-final to be assured of a medal.