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Windy City Open: Mahesh Mangaonkar and Sachika Ingale exit in first round of qualifying

343   //    24 Feb 2016, 18:45 IST
Mangaonkar was playing just his second PSA tournament after returning from inury

The first round of qualifying at the $150,000 Windy City Open in Chicago proved to be disastrous for Indian squash players as both Mahesh Mangaonkar and Sachika Ingale crashed out on Tuesday.

It was especially a heartbreaking defeat for the 84th ranked Ingale, who was 2 games to one up but allowed her Egyptian opponent, Hania El Hammamy to come back and prevail 11-3, 10-12, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6 in 43 minutes.

El Hammany is a rising star, who is aged just 15. She came into this tournament on the back of winning the British Junior U 17 Open in January and was expected to make it tough for Sachika.

“I feel a bit tired, I had a bit of a long haul to come here, Cairo London, London NY, NY Chicago! But that doesn’t take anything away from her, she played very well,” said Hania after her victory.

The men’s World No. 67 Mangaonkar too squandered a lead to go down to 11-8, 8-11, 6-11, 6-11 to the 44th ranked Englishman Declan James. The match lasted 60 minutes.

“At that level, there is no easy match, and 20 places in the world rankings is nothing really. They can play the ball, and the qualifying are a dog fight.” said James after his win.

Mangaonkar was playing just his second PSA tournament since returning to the Tour in February after a two-month hiatus due to health-related problems. He had reached the semi-finals of the Cactus Classic earlier this month.

World No. 20 Saurav Ghosal is the only other Indian playing this tournament. His first round match in the main draw is against a qualifier and is scheduled on Friday.

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A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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