Double for Tamil Nadu’s Senthilkumar

Double for Tamil Nadu’s Senthilkumar

FPJ BureauUpdated: Friday, May 31, 2019, 08:32 PM IST
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Mumbai : Top seed Velavan Senthilkumar of Tamil Nadu won the men’s and boys under-19 titles, in the 72nd CCI-Western India Open Squash Tournament, at the Cricket Club of India. Also living up to her top billing was Akanksha Salunkhe of Vasco, Goa who beat second seed Urwashi Joshi of Jindal, Mumbai 11-5, 11-3, 11-5 for the women’s crown, and got the better of Sunayna Kuruvilla of Tamil Nadu 11-7, 8-11, 11-4, 11-5 for the girls’ under-19 title. Stylish left-hander Senthilkumar, a product of the Indian Squash Academy, Chennai overcame second seed Sandeep Jangra of Air Force 13-11, 11-9, 11-8 for the men’s crown and prevailed over second seed Ranjit Singh of Uttar Pradesh 11-6, 10-12, 11-4, 3-11, 11-8 for the under-19 title.

CWG Youth Games bronze medallist and national under-19 champion Senthilkumar was let off the hook in an entertaining men’s championship round that promised to go the distance but lasted just 32 minutes. A supremely confident Sandeep Jangra was in complete command of the contest from the word go as he raced to game ball at 10-7 in the opener. But just when he was set to go 1-0 up, he provided Senthilkumar a pleasant surprise when he hit the tin on five occasions to surrender the game over extra points.

Jangra explained the reason for the sudden reverse: “I was playing my shots and unfortunately I hit the tin too many times.” Jangra took charge again in the second game with a slew of brilliant shots that left Senthilkumar helpless. He made the Chennai boy dance to his tune but once again, when poised to draw level, he hit the tin on two consecutive occasions to give Senthilkumar a 2-0 lead. The story was no different in the third game. Jangra continued to delight with stunning drops and nicks, just as he disappointed by hitting the tin on those numerous occasions. After hitting the tin thrice early in the game before leading 8-7, Jangra did a ridiculous encore four more times on-the-trot to lose his way and a match that should have been his.

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