PSA Otters Open – Main Draw

1* Ritwik Bhattacharya (IND)
(Q) Parthiban Ayappan
Ryan Thompson (NAM)
(Q) Siddharth Suchde
4* Mohd. Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
(Q) Harinderpal Singh
5* Darren Lewis (ENG)
Neil Hitchens (ENG)
(Q) Shahril Shahidan (MAS)
6* Arthur Gaskin (IRL)
Aqeel Rehman (AUT)
3* Timothy Arnold (MAS)
Gaurav Nandrajog (IND)
7* Friedrich Scheel (GER)
Nafzahizam Adnan (MAS)
2* Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Chennai’s Parthiban Ayappan and Harinder Pal Sandhu endured strong challenges before making it to the main draw, in the PSA Otters Open Squash Tournament 2006, at the Otters Club, BandraIn one of the fastest contests, Harinder Pal Sandhu took just 36 minutes and five games to end compatriot Vikram Malhotra’s campaign with a 11-6, 7-11, 7-11, 11-1, 11-7 win, in an exciting final qualifying round match.Sandhu used consistency and rallied brilliantly from a 1-2 deficit, to pull off a thriller on the fast track. Malhotra, who upset world No. 245 Brian Byrne of Ireland in the opening qualifying round on Tuesday, ran Sandhu close but committed more errors and paid the penalty. “Vikram played very well today. In the second game he hit brilliant winners and there were no mistakes from him. But he surprised me by surrendering the fourth game and in the end it was my consistency that proved decisive,” revealed Sandhu.

Parthiban, ranked No. 216 in the world, rallied from a 1-2 deficit to overcome compatriot Naresh Kumar 11-8, 9-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9 in another absorbing final qualifying round encounter. In a tie that lasted 45 minutes, Parthiban got off to a dream start with an early lead. But Kumar, ranked
No. 247 in the world, battled hard to clinch the next two games to surge to a surprise 2-1 lead.

As the scores suggest, it was a tight contest between quality players that went all the way to the decider. The match could have gone either way, but Parthiban committed fewer mistakes and was rewarded with a berth amongst the elite following one of the closest contests he has endured in his career. Malaysia’s Shahril Shahridan, ranked No. 185 in the world, ignored the loss of the opening game against India’s Sandeep Jangra and quickly found his rhythm before cruising to a 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-9 win in another 45 minute tie.

Shahridan took a comfortable 2-1 lead after taking control. Jangra made a late bid to keep his hopes alive in the crucial fourth game that was close. But he paid the price for committing unforced errors. “I lost the first game because I used it to get the feel of the court. I played my shots and by the second game I had settled in. The court was fast and I like it that way. It was to my advantage because it suited my game,” explained Shahridan.

“Sandeep is not a bad player, but he made too many mistakes. He fought back well in the fourth game. But he messed up simple shots which were certain winners. I used it to my advantage and was just happy to play my normal game. I was satisfied with my performance but I will try to improve with every match,” added Shahridan.

Siddharth Suchdde of India joined the elite following an easy 11-1, 11-3, 11-8 win over compatriot Vikas Jangra in a match that lasted just 20 minutes.

Results: PSA Otters Open: Final Qualifying Rd: Shahril Shahridan (Malaysia) bt Sandeep Jangra (India) 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-9; Parthiban Ayappan (India) bt Naresh Kumar (India) 11-8, 9-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9; Harinder Pal Sandhu (India) bt Vikram Malhotra (India) 11-6, 7-11, 7-11, 11-1, 11-7; Siddharth Suchdde (India) bt Vikas Jangra (India) 11-1, 11-3, 11-8.

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About Cyrus Poncha
I was born and lived in Bombay before moving to Chennai in 2001 to coach the Indian national squash team....what a journey its been!!

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