Sekisui Open, Switzerland, PSA 15, (7-13 Mar’16)

A semi-final finish in the Cactus Classic in the US in February was a good sign. Then came this victory at the Sekisui Open in Kriens in Switzerland, a $15000 PSA world tour event in March for Mahesh Mangaonkar to establish that all is well with him as he pegs his sight for bigger strides in 2016. A poor 2015 had pushed down Mahesh’s world ranking of 44 in January 2015 to 65 now.

But the Sekisui Open in Kriens had injected fresh hopes into this Mumbai lad. The fifth seed Mahesh had come with confidence. Beating Baptiste Masotti (France) in the first round was pleasing even if in four games. A straight game win over Bernat Jaume (Spain) was more like his best before be sized down the second seed Raphael Kandra (Germany) in the quarterfinal next for an upset win as per seedings.

Ousting an unseeded player Geoffrey Demont (France) who was having a good run was equally satisfying for Mahesh as he did not drop a game in the semifinal to reach the final. All this stood him in good stead for the key contest against Kristian Frost of Denmark. His record against him was 1-2 and that Mahesh decided had to be corrected and the Indian did it though with a long drawn five games. Mahesh won 12-10, 7-11, 12-10, 11-13, 11-8 in this battle of attrition for his fifth PSA title and to script a new chapter in his young career.

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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