Nikita Joshi of Otters Club stunned top seed Aishwarya Bhattacharya to make a surprise entry into the girls under-15 final in the 37th Bombay Gymkhana Maharashtra State Open Junior Squash Championship on Monday.
Joshi,who is seeded in the five to eight slot and had shocked higher ranked Iran Open winner Akanksha Salunkhe of Goa in the quarter-finals on Sunday,turned giant-killer with another remarkable straight-set win over favourite Bhattacharya after enduring a strong challenge in the first two sets that ended in tight finishes.
Joshi set up a title clash with second seed Adya Advani of Delhi who halted Jui Kalgutkar of Bombay Gymkhana in a five-set thriller that went down to the wire,after trailing 1-2 and snatching a tight fourth game and the decider over extra points.
Exciting action continued as Veer Chotrani upset second-seed Tushar Shahani in an all-Khar Gymkhana boys under-13 semi-finals. Shahani recovered from 1-2 to force the decider where he reached match point at 10-8 but frittered away a golden opportunity as Chotrani fought his way back. Chotrani will face top seed Chaitanya Shah of Bombay Gymkhana in the final.
Abhay Singh of Tamil Nadu,who shocked top seed Dev Vazirani in the quarter-finals,marched on with another upset win over higher-ranked Yohaan Surti of Willingdon Sports Club in the boys’ under-15 semi-finals. Singh,seeded in the five to eight slot,led 2-0 before enduring a late challenge from Surti who went down in the decider by a substantial margin.
Singh next faces second seed Aryaman Adik of Otters Club who overcame a gallant Siddhanth Iyer of Hiranandani in another 3-2 thriller.
Top seed Mahesh Mangaonkar of CCI and second seed Kush Kumar of Tamil Nadu will contest the boys’ under-19 final.
Results: Under-9 (SF): Jen Pandove bt Ahaan Bhansali 11-4,11-5,11-8; Jay Vakhnalli bt Jaiveer Singh Dhillon 11-8,14-12,11-7; Girls’ U-11 (SF): 1-Meghna Bhatia bt Ananya Dabke (Thane) 11-4,11-9,11-4; 2-Avani Nagar bt Aarya Ogale (Hiranandani) 11-8,4-11,13-11,11-9; Girls’ U-13 (SF): 1-Koel Shankar (Khar Gym) bt Diya Joukhani (Khar Gym) 11-4,11-6,11-2; Aakanksha Rao bt Abhilasha Bhasin (Bombay Gym) 11-5,11-2,13-11; Girls’ U-15 (SF): 2-Adya Advani bt Jui Kalgutkar (Bombay Gym) 9-11,11-3,4-11,11-9,12-10; Nikita Joshi (Otters Club) bt 1-Aishwarya Bhattacharya (Bombay Gym) 11-9,13-11,11-4; Boys’ U-11 (SF): 2-Advait Adik (Otters Club) bt Neel Joshi (Otters Club) 11-3,12-10,11-3; 1-Yash Fadte (Goa) bt Tanay Punjabi (Otters Club) 11-1,11-4,11-5; Boys’ U-13 (SF): Veer Chotrani (Khar Gym) bt 2-Tushar Shahani (Khar Gym) 9-11,11-5,11-6,6-11,12-10; 1-Chaitanya Shah (Bombay Gym) bt Aryan Parekh (Matunga Gym) 11-8,11-8,12-14,11-2; Boys’ U-15 (SF): Abhay Singh (TN) bt Yohaan Surti (Willingdon SC) 13-11,11-6,5-11,9-11,11-4; 2-Aryaman Adik (Otters Club) bt Siddhanth Iyer (Hiranandani) 6-11,11-9,5-11,11-6,14-12; Boys’ U-17 (SF): 2-Madhav Dhingra (Otters Club) bt Abhimanyu Shah (Bombay Gym) 13-11,12-10,12-10; 1-Kush Kumar (TN) bt Yohan Pandole (CCI) 11-5,12-10,11-4; Boys’ U-19 (SF): 2-Kush Kumar (TN) bt Ranvijay Singh (TN) 11-5,11-13,11-2,11-3; 1-Mahesh Mangaonkar (CCI) bt Deepak Mishra (TN) 11-4,11-3,11-4.