Asian Champs – Indian Quarterfinal Round Up

Joshna Chinappa packed a punch in her performance and helped herself to a semi-final spot in the Asian Senior Individual squash championship being held in Kuwait. Her’s was the early high point for India on a day when both second seeds Dipika Pallikal and Saurav Ghosal crashed out.

The fourth seeded Joshna played with a lot of confidence against the fifth seed Joey Chan of Hong Kong but what stood out in her performance was her display of patience in her 3-2 win.

In the first game for instance, Joshna saw Joey raising a 8-4 lead but there the Indian changed gears and reeled off seven points in a row to turn the table on her opponent. The Hong Kong girl was down but not out winning the next two games. Joshna kept her cool and that helped her take stock of the situation turning the tide once again to win 11-8, 10-12, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7. It was a remarkable effort, particularly the way she finished off the deciding game, with a 6-0 lead and never looking back. Joshna plays top seeded Nicol David in the semi finals.

Dipika who came on next seemed slow to start with and this only steeled the resolve of the lower seeded Delia Arnold of Malaysia. Though the Indian forced the issue to five games with snatches of good show, she never seemed in it overall against the determined Delia. Dipika lost 7-11, 14-12, 13-11, 8-11, 9-11 with the match going 95 minutes.

Nasir Iqbal of Pakistan upset 2nd seed Saurav Ghosal. Saurav is well known for his speed and attrition. However today not only did Nasir match him in this department, he also used the front left with telling effect. He earned numerous points of drops and counter drops. Though Saurav won a close first, Nasir came back strongly to take the 2nd. The referees decisions right from the word go rattled Saurav. A clear stroke for Saurav at the end of the 1st rally was given as a let. Thereafter Saurav questioned numerous calls and the explanations given were not satisfactory to Saurav. Nasir ultimately won 13-15,11-7,11-4,11-5 in 75min. to earn a playoff with Kuwaiti Abdullah Mezayen


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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