Top seed Sachika Ingale of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra’s second seed Aditya Jagtap were crowned women’s and men’s champions respectively in the Bombay Gymkhana 42nd Maharashtra State Open Squash tournament in Mumbai.
In the men’s summit clash, the more agile Jagtap prevailed over state rival Abhishek Pradhan 11-8 11-7 11-7 while in the corresponding women’s encounter Sachika outplayed second seed Urwashi Joshi of Maharashtra 13-11 11-5 5-11 11-5.
“I was quite positive of winning and it was a really good contest. She (Joshi) kept the pace fast and I found my length and range of strokes and it worked well for me. But I had to be cautious as she would punish me whenever I played some loose shots or committed mistakes,” said Sachika who picked up the winner’s purse of Rs 40,000.
“This tournament and the victory boost’s my confidence for the challenges ahead. I will be immediately leaving for Malaysia to participate in two PSA events which start in a couple of days time and I hope to do well and try to improve my ranking. I am currently ranked 83 and would like to go higher as I was 71 last year,” the UP player said.
Men’s champion Jagtap said, “It was a great game. The scores don’t reflect the closeness of the match, but I was happy to win in three games. If the match had got extended, it could have put pressure on me as doubts creep in and it’s best to get done it immediately.”
“He (Pradhan) has had a good run having beaten the top seed Robert Downer, but I was pretty confident of winning,” he added.
Jagtap, who became richer by Rs 1.3 lakh, was satisfied with his progress after winning four major title since December 2016.
“I won the CCI event, the Bangalore Open, Otters Squash championship and now here and it gives me a high,” said the Mumbai-based player.
Women: Third-Fourth place: Sachika Balwani beat Riya Sisidia 11-6, 11-3, 11-3.
Men: Third-Fourth place: Gaurav Nandrajog beat Abhishek Agarwal 11-4 11-4 11-4.