Hindu: National squash Day2

Supreet Singh used to be a regular in the domestic circuit before he shifted base to Connecticut (US) this January for his undergraduate studies.The Maharashtra player flew in recently to have a feel of the squash scene, and on Wednesday he was the cynosure of all eyes with his straight game win over a fighting Vikas Jangra in a pre-quarterfinal match in the ICL-National championship.In terms of the seeding, the result was an upset as Supreet is in the 9/16 bracket, while Jangra is 5/8.It is a different matter that he will be facing the top seed and title-favourite Saurav Ghosal next but as he put it, “at least I will have the pleasure of playing a great player. Besides, the match against Vikas has toned me up for the tougher match.” Even if the score-line does not suggest that it was a touch and go match – replete with rallies. Had Jangra, who works in the Indian Navy, managed to grab the third game, the tale could have been different. Jangra had the chance, thrice saving match points but a ‘stroke’ finally ended his struggle. The sweat-dripping Surpeet agreed: “well, I was tiring and going into the fourth game could have turned things around.”

However, the inability to finish off early was what undid Aprajitha Balamurukan, a Church Park Convent School student, who was seeded 5/8. A pupil of the ICL academy, Aparajitha has the skills, shows good deception with her returns, but against a swift mover like Dheeya Somaiya from Indore, who is seeded 9/16, she needed to be a lot sharper on the feet. Leading two games to one, Aprajitha let off the grip with a series of unforced errors and the Daly College girl happily grabbed the opportunity.

Late in the day little Ramit Tandon, just 14 years, drove a scare into higher ranked and over five years his elder, Naresh Kumar, by forcing the contest to five games. Though Ramit ran out of steam finally, as long as he was on court he grabbed attention. There was a lot to cheer for the host in the professional category where Balamurugan, seeking his record 10th title, led four others from the State to the quarterfinal stage.

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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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