Monday, July 15, 2024

Mahesh Mangaonkar upsets the odds to win IMET Open

Reigning champion Lobban falls at final hurdle as Mangaonkar ends season on a high 
By MICHAEL CATLING – Squash Mad Reporter

LESS than 24 hours after prevailing in a five-game semi-final epic, Indian number three Mahesh Mangaonkar repeated his heroics to outlast number two seed Greg Lobban and win the IMET Open in Slovakia.

The world number 98, who knocked out number one seed and two-time champion Jan Koukal in 98 minutes on Saturday, held off a spirited comeback from Lobban of Scotland to triumph 7-11, 11-8, 11-4, 6-11, 11-7 in the sixth edition of the $5,000 PSA Challenger event.

Lobban, who beat Joel Hinds to win the trophy back in 2012, took the match into a decider after winning the fourth game 11-6. But despite the apparent shift in momentum, Mangaonkar (pictured right) dug deep to claim just his second PSA Tour title in 77 minutes.

“The turning point of this final was in the second set, where I started to move properly on the court,” said the jubilant 19-year-old.

“I was happy to win the third, rested a bit in fourth and fought back in fifth. Squash is also a mental game and I gave it all I had in the final set.”

Final Result:

[3] Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind) 3-2 [2] Greg Lobban (Sco) 7-11, 11-8, 11-4, 6-11, 11-7 (77m)

Semi-Finals Results:

[3] Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind) 3-2 [1] Jan Koukal (Cze) 13-11, 11-8, 9-11, 7-11, 13-11 (98m)
[2] Greg Lobban (Sco) 3-1 [4] Reiko Peter (Sui) 11-6, 11-7, 5-11, 11-4 (57m)

Feature picture by Steve Cubbins (SquashSite)

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