Little Masters Squash Championship (1-5 Oct ’11)

Six of the nine titles were won by players from the host state Maharashtra. While Navaneeth Prabhu and Vikas Mehra of Tamil Nadu won the under-9 & 13 crown. Akansha Salunke of Goa was the only femail winner from out of state winning the girls under-13 title at the Little Masters Junior Squash Tournament, organized and hosted by the Willingdon Sports Club, Mahalaxmi.

Navaneeth Prabhu fashioned a thrilling 11-7, 7-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9 win over second seed Neel Joshi of Maharashtra, while Veer Chotrani ended the winning streak of Goa lad Yash Fadte with another pulsating 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7 victory.

Fadte rallied from a 1-2 deficit, winning the crucial fourth game by snatching seven points in a row to force the decider and rattle Chotrani. Fadte looked set to take the fifth and final set and match when he led 6-0 that put Chotrani under immense pressure. But just when it seemed over for Chotrani, the Otters Club lad fought back, winning eight points in a row to lead 8-6.

It was anybody’s contest thereafter until Chotrani led 10-9 and sealed the match with a forehand winner.

Vikas Mehra made it a double delight for Tamil Nadu following a 11-8, 5-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-7 upset win over top seed Aryaman Adik of Maharashtra, after trailing 1-2.

Abhimanyu Shah of Maharashtra bagged the under-17 title with a 3-2 win over Divij Singh of Delhi, while top seed Aishwarya Bhattacharya beat No. 3 Aishwarya Nambiar 11-3, 3-11, 11-6, 11-7 for the girls’ under-15 title.

Maharashtra’s Abhilasha Bhasin earned her first major title with the under-11 crown.

World junior No. 3 and boys’ under-19 top seed Mahesh Mangaonkar and girls’ under-19 top seed Saumya Karki lived up to their reputations by bagging titles in their respective categories.

Results (All finals):

Under-9: Navaneeth Prabhu (TN) bt Neel Joshi (Mah) 11-7, 7-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9.
Boys U-11: Veer Chotrani bt Yash Fadte (Goa) 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7.

Boys U-13: Vikas Mehra (TN) bt Aryaman Adik (Mah) 11-8, 5-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-7.

Boys U-15: Yohan Pandole (Mah) bt Kunj Rawani (Mah) 11-5, 11-9, 11-9.

Boys U-17: Abhimanyu Shah (Mah) bt Divij Singh (Delhi) 11-9, 7-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-2.

Boys U-19: Mahesh Mangaonkar (Mah) bt Utkarsh Kumar (Delhi) 11-2, 11-4, 11-0.
Girls U-11: Abhilasha Bhasin (Mah) bt Aditi Raheja (Mah) 12-10, 11-8, 11-9.

Girls U-13: Akanksha Salunke (Goa) bt Daksha Pathak (Mah) 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6.
Girls U-15: Aishwarya Bhattacharya (Mah) bt Aishwarya Nambiar (Mah) 11-3, 3-11, 11-6, 11-7.

Girls U-19: Saumya Karki (Mah) bt Urvashi Joshi (Mah) 11-6, 11-6, 11-4.



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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