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Joshna, Mandy set up title clash

Mumbai, Sep 27 (UNI) India No 1 and women's top seed Joshna Chinappa and defending champion Mandy Kennedy of England fashioned convincing wins to set up a title clash in the 32nd Bombay Gymkhana Maharashtra State Open Squash Championship at the Bombay Gymkhana here today.

Former champion Joshna warmed up for the final against Mandy with a 9-5, 9-6, 9-4 win over Swati Muchhal of Madhya Pradesh, while Mandy crushed Shaheen Madraswala of Maharashtra 9-0, 9-2, 9-0 in the other semi-final.

Top seed Vikas Jangra of Services will take on cousin Sandeep Jangra of Chennai in the Men's Open final following impressive wins.

In the upset of the day, boys' under-15 top seed and one of India's top juniors Abhishek Pradhan of Maharashtra recovered from certain defeat at 6-8 match-ball in the fourth game and rally to shock under-17 No. 1 seed Rishi Jalan of Rajasthan 5-9, 9-7, 5-9, 10-9, 9-4 for a surprise entry in the final.

Playing a defensive game, fifth seed Pradhan recovered brilliantly from a 1-2 deficit after dropping the first and third games. Ignoring the early blemish, a determined Pradhan fought his way back into the match to draw level when he clinched a humdinger of a fourth game that stretched into extra points.

In the decider, an inspired Pradhan raced to an early lead and never looked back against an exhausted Jalan, who still was reeling under pressure after coming from tight under-17 and under-19 semi-finals on Wednesday.

''Rishi was a better player and I had nothing to lose. But I chose to fight back by playing safe especially after staring at defeat at 6-8 (match ball) in the fourth game. Then he started making mistakes and I capitalised on those errors. He also tired out and I had a rather easy deciding game,'' said a relieved Pradhan after the match.

Pradhan set himself up for a double crown by also advancing to the boys' under-15 final as the top seed. Likewise, Sachika Balvani of Maharashtra lined up for a double by entering the girls' under-15 and under-17 finals, while her state mate Saumya Karki advance to the under-15 and under-13 finals.

RESULTS (All Semi-Finals): Men's Open: Vikas Jangra (Mah) bt Amjad Khan (Del) 4-9, 9-0, 9-4, 9-5; Sandeep Jangra (Mah) bt Laxman Joshi (Mah) 9-2, 9-2, 9-0.

Women: Joshna Chinappa (TN) bt Swati Muchhal (MP) 9-5, 9-6, 9-4; Mandy Kennedy (Mah) bt Shaheen Madraswala (Mah) 9-0, 9-2, 9-0.

Boys U-19: Laxman Joshi (Mah) bt Ashray Ohri (Raj) 9-1, 9-3, 9-0; Cyrus Vakil (Mah) bt Karm Kurmar (Del) 5-9, 9-6, 10-8, 9-3.

Boys U-17: Abhishek Pradhan (Mah) bt Rishi Jalan (Raj) 5-9, 9-7, 5-9, 10-9, 9-4; Karm Kumar (Del) bt Abhinav Sinha (Mah) 9-3, 9-3, 9-4.

Boys U-15: Abhishek Pradhan (Mah) bt Vrishab Kotian (Mah) 9-3, 9-1, 9-3; Aakash Borwankar (Mah) bt Caran Arora (Mah) 9-0, 9-6, 10-8.

Boys U-13: Kush Kumar (Del) bt Rahil Fazilbhoy (Mah) 9-0, 9-4, 9-5; Deepak Mishra (Del) bt Arjun Kochhar (Mah) 9-4, 9-3, 9-7.

Boys U-11: Rajat Agarwal (Mah) bt Sidharth Singh (Raj) 9-1, 5-9, 9-5, 8-10, 9-7; Yohan Pandole (Mah) bt Sandeep Paswan (Mah) 9-2, 9-0, 9-2.

Girls U-19: Shivangi Paranjpe (Mah) bt Urvashi Mishra (Mah) 9-1, 9-0, 9-1; Madhura Paranjpe (Mah) bt Swati Muchhal (MP) 9-7, 9-7, 9-2.

Girls U-17: Sachika Balvani (Mah) bt Shivangi Paranjpe (Mah) 9-7, 9-4, 9-0 (rtd); Urvashi Mishra (Mah) bt Shaheen Madraswala (Mah) 6-9, 10-8, 10-8, 4-9, 9-3.

Girls U-15: Saumya Karki (Mah) bt Anju Sharma (Mah) 9-1, 9-0, 9-2; Sachika Balvani (Mah) bt Gauri Agarwal (Mah) 9-0, 9-0, 9-0.

Girls U-13: Saumya Karki (Mah) bt Varsha Pandey (Mah) 9-0, 9-0, 9-0; Urvashi Joshi (Mah) bt Pankhuri Malhotra (Del) 9-5, 9-2, 9-6.

Girls U-11: Pankhuri Malhotra (Del) bt Aishwarya Nambiar (Mah) 9-0, 9-0, 9-0; Aishwarya Bhattacharya (Mah) bt Jui Kalgutkar (Mah) 9-10, 1-9, 9-6, 9-3, 9-1.

U-9: Ben Kennedy (Mah) bt Param Maru (Mah) 9-6, 10-8, 9-2; Aman Girish Rau (Mah) bt Ivan Philip (Mah) 9-5, 9-2, 9-2.

Professionals: Sanjay Pawar (Mah) bt Vijay Sonawane (Mah) 9-5, 9-6, 6-9, 9-4; Rohit More (Mah) bt Sachin Jadhav (Mah) 9-2, 9-1, 9-0.

O-45: Dr. B.I. Singh (Del) bt Chandrakant Pawar (Mah) 9-0, 9-2, 9-2; Vaman Apte (Mah) bt Kishan Lal (Mah) 9-0, 9-4, 9-2.

O-55: Dr. B.I. Singh (Del) bt Kishan Lal (Mah) 9-4, 9-3, 9-0; Raj Manchanda (Mah) w/o Carl Saldanha (Mah).


Story first published: Saturday, September 29, 2007, 10:23 [IST]
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