Mumbai: Chaitanya Shah of Mumbai scripted a fairy-tale win over top seed and India No.1 Tushar Shahani 11-6, 4-11, 14-12, 11-6 in a U-19 semi-final match of the  3rd Indian Classic Junior Open Squash Tournament, organised under the aegis of SRFI and SRAM and sponsored by JSW and Raheja Vivarea at the Bombay Gymkhana glass-back squash courts on Wednesday.

Chaitanya who trains in the United States came into the tournament as an underdog and shocked everyone by putting up an exceptional performance and defeating the top seed in an epic 4 game thriller.

Chaitanya started the game with confidence attacking Tushar and making him work for points, his strategy worked as Chaitanya took the first game by 11-6.

Tushar regained his focus and took control of the second game by playing an aggressive game and attacking all corners eventually winning the game by 11-4.

The third game was the most exciting encounter of the match with both players matching move for move reaching a 10-10 tiebreaker.

Tushar’s could not hold off the attack from Chaitanya and lost the 3rd game 12-14. In the final game, Chaitanya kept it simple by moving a tired Tushar all around the court which helped him score points in quick succession and ultimately winning the game and the match by 11-6, 4-11,14-12, 11-6.

When asked about the semi-final victory Chaitanya said, “I have played Tushar in many finals earlier and he has been the fittest and the most competitive opponent, I am glad I was able to pull through as this was a very tough match which could have gone either way”.

Meanwhile, the 16-year-old sensation Yash Fadte advanced to the final by defeating the second seed Rahul Baitha 8-11, 13-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-7 in a gruelling 5 game battle. Rahul started the match strongly by taking the first game 11-8 but he faced resistance from Yash who in spite of struggling managed to get the game to 10-10 tiebreaker eventually winning the game by 13-11.

This much-needed win gave Yash the confidence to get back into the game and he did so by destroying Rahul in the 3rd game by 11-4.

Rahul bounced back from the disastrous third game and managed to outsmart the relentless Yash Fadte to win the 4th game 11-9 and making the scores level.

In the final match, Yash pulled displayed amazing levels of fitness to move around the court denying Rahul many opportunities to score winning the game 11-7 and winning the match to advance to the finals.

In a Girls U-19 match, unseeded Sanya Vats beat a higher ranked Namvi Sharma with relative ease scoring an 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 victory while top seed Amita Gondi beat the unseeded  Jannia Singh I 11-9,11-8, 5-11, 8-11, 12-10 in a closely contested semi-final

Results (all semi-finals):

Girls U-19: Sanya Vats bt Navmi Sharma (3/4) 11-6, 11-6, 11-6; Amita Gondi  (1) bt Jannia Singh 11-9, 11-8, 5-11, 8-11, 12-10 .

Boys U-19: Chaitanya Shah bt Tushar Shahani (1) 11-6, 4-11, 14-12, 11-6; Yash Fadte bt Rahul Baitha (2) 8-11, 13-11, 11-4, 9-11 11-7.

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Free Press Journal