World Junior Squash: Abhay Singh and Adhitya Raghavan enter fourth round
Two of India's promising juniors, Abhay Singh and Adhitya Raghavan, have kept the Tricolour flying high by reaching the fourth round of the WSF World Junior Squash Championships held at Tauranga, New Zealand on Thursday. Both are seeded 5/8th at this tournament and will be hoping to grab a quarter-final berth even as Aryaman Adik, Yash Fadte, Veer Chotrani and Tushar Shahani fell by the wayside.
After a first round bye, Singh notched up his first win, over New Zealand’s Gabe Yam, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 to earn a place in the third round. There, American player Harrison Gill gave him some stiff resistance in the third game but the calm and composed Indian managed to finish in straight games, emerging an 11-6, 11-3, 14-12 winner.
Raghavan, who too had a first round bye, easily dismissed the challenge of the Kiwi player, Matthew Lucente, 11-9, 11-8, 11-5.
The third round proved to be a tougher task for him as he needed to battle hard with Korea’s In Woo Lee to carve out an 11-5, 11-6, 4-11, 11-9 victory.
Yash Fadte faced the 3/4th seed Marwan Tarek of Egypt in Round 3 which turned out to be quite a stumbling block for the Indian. Tarek dashed Fadte’s hopes with a smooth 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 win to enter the fourth round.
Earlier, Veer Chotrani lost his second round match to Pakistan’s Abbas Zeb, 8-11, 7-11, 5-11. Tushar Shahani too succumbed to a 3-11, 9-11, 8-11 defeat to Malaysia’s Hafiz Zhafri while Aryaman Adik bowed out to Ronald Palomino, 6-11, 7-11, 3-11.
Indian challenge ends in women’s section
In the women’s section, curtains came down on India’s campaign with 13/16th seeded Akanksha Salunkhe, Aishwarya Bhattacharya and Sunayna Kuruvilla all losing their third round matches.
Bhattacharya had the best performance of the lot and even led two games to one against the 3/4th seeded Nada Abbas. However, she still failed to cross the finish line as the Egyptian came roaring back to snatch the next couple of games for an 11-4, 8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-3 win.
Salunkhe too suffered a defeat at the hands of another Egyptian, Jana Shiha, who is unseeded in this competition. Shiha prevailed 11-6, 11-8, 11-4 over the Indian.
Kuruvilla’s run came to an end at the hands of the 13/16th seeded Malaysian Aifa Azman, who won 11-4, 11-6, 11-6.
The individual competition will continue till July 24 which will be followed by team championships.