Free Press Journal

Mumbai’s Joshi, Dabke win Dutch Open


Mumbai : Mumbai’s Neel Joshi and Ananya Dabke bagged the under-15 boys and girls titles, respectively, in the Dutch Open Junior Squash Championship, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Top seed Joshi beat 5/8 seed Khalil Alhassan of England 9-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 in the boys final, while Dabke, seeded  down the order at 9/12, turned giant-killer with an exciting 11-7, 11-4, 12-10 win over second seed Serena Daniel of theUS in the girls championship round.

It was Dabke who won hearts after sailing past Sofia Arseniev of the US in the opening round. Then, in a spectacular giant-killing run, the Indian went on to scalp 5/8 seed  Franka Vidovic of Croatia 11-2, 11-4, 11-6 in the pre-quarter-finals, 3/4 seed Maia Pannell of England 11-5, 11-1, 11-7 in the quarter-finals and top seed Chukwu Chinyere ofHungary 11-5, 12-14, 11-7, 11-8 in the semi-finals.

Two other Indians did well to reach the girls under-15 quarter-finals where another Mumbai lass Aishwarya Khubchandani fell to England’s Torrie Malik in straight sets, while Yoshna Singh went down to Daniel 14-12, 11-9, 12-14, 11-13, 4-11 in a gripping contest.

Cologne Cup winner Joshi, who earned a first round bye, warmed up with straight sets wins over Belgium’s Bjarne Schaillee, Yaseen Elsebaie of Egypt and compatriot Shreeman Raghavan. In the semi-finals that featured three Indians, he beat compatriot Arnaav Sareen 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7, in a thriller, after trailing 1-2, and finallyovercame Alhassan who prevented an Indian clean sweep with a 11-9, 11-9, 12-10 win over Kanhav Nanavati in other semi-final.