Sunday, July 14, 2024

Joy in Jaipur for home hero Harinder

Sandhu sinks top seed Mangaonkar in opening Indian series event
By Squash Mad Reporter

Harinder Pal Sandhu on the ball in Jaipur
Harinder Pal Sandhu on the ball in Jaipur

Harinder Pal Sandhu provided surprise home success in the inaugural JSW PSA Indian Circuit 1 when he upset top seed Mahesh Mangaonkar in the all-Indian final of the PSA Challenger 10 squash event at the Jaipur Club in Jaipur.

It was just a week after the pair led India to an historic Asian Games team gold medal in South Korea that Sandhu and Mangaonkar returned to individual pursuits on the PSA World Tour in Jaipur – both dismissing English opponents in the semi-finals to set up the dream climax.

For both players, the success led them to their seventh PSA World Tour finals – 20-year-old Mangaonkar marking his fourth of the year, and third seed Sandhu, 25, from Chennai, looking to end a five-year title drought.

“The pair faced off in front of a packed house,” reported Circuit Director Liesl Goecker. “While Mangaonkar had the length, Sandhu returned brilliant shot after brilliant shot, stumping Mangaonkar in a quick three-game match.”

World No.56 Mangaonkar briefly led in the third game.

“But Sandhu knew the title was his,” continued Goecker. “After some superb squash and lightning retrievals, a hard boast from Sandhu brought the game to 8-2, his lead. At 10-6, Sandhu served for the match and became the champion of the first JSW Challenger tournament in Jaipur!”

Sandhu, ranked 31 places lower than his Indian team-mate, was delighted with his 11-5, 11-5, 11-6 title triumph after 65 minutes: “It feels great. It’s exactly one year since I lost to Mahesh on this same court at the senior nationals.

“This court is a very hot spot. I knew I would need to keep my basic game tight, don’t be headstrong, just hang in there and give it all up.”

The win marks the third PSA World Tour title of Sandhu’s career.

PSA Challenger 10 JSW PSA Indian Circuit 1, Jaipur, India:

First round:
[1] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt [WC] Vijay Meena (IND) 11-2, 11-8, 11-1 (37m)
[5] Matias Tuomi (FIN) bt [Q] Deepak Mishra (IND) 11-3, 11-6, 11-6 (32m)
[Q] Velavan Senthilkumar (IND) bt [8] Arthur Moineau (FRA) 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 (30m)
Angus Gillams (ENG) bt [LL] Ashish Keskar (IND) 11-5, 11-3, 11-9 (36m)
[3] Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) bt [Q] Gaurav Nandrajog (IND) 9-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-9, 11-4 (72m)
[6] Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP) bt Ravi Dixit (IND) 11-7, 11-2, 11-6 (35m)
[7] Adam Murrills (ENG) bt [Q] Muhammad Asim Khan (PAK) 12-10, 10-12, 11-3, 9-11, 11-5 (65m)
[2] Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) bt Kush Kumar (IND) 10-12, 11-4, 11-9, 13-11 (108m)
[1] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt [5] Matias Tuomi (FIN) 11-6, 11-7, 11-2 (37m)
Angus Gillams (ENG) bt [Q] Velavan Senthilkumar (IND) 11-5, 11-8, 5-11, 11-3 (49m)
[3] Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) bt [6] Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP) 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 (48m)
[7] Adam Murrills (ENG) bt [2] Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8 (64m)
[1] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt Angus Gillams (ENG) 12-10, 11-3, 11-2 (45m)
[3] Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) bt [7] Adam Murrills (ENG) 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-2 (55m)
[3] Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) bt [1] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 11-5, 11-5, 11-6 (65m)

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Picture courtesy of the PSA


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