Mumbai: Guangzhou Asian Games bronze medallist and top-seed Saurav Ghosal kicked off his campaign with a comfortable first round win and led the other seeds in the 58th Senior National Squash Championship at the Cricket Club of India here on Tuesday.
India No 1 Ghosal warmed up with a 11-8, 11-2, 11-8 win over qualifier Rushabh Vora of Maharashtra. The favourite, a winner of the national crown on five occasions including the last four in a row, was supremely confident and remained focused right through his opener against a hapless Vora.
Joining the world no. 22 in the next round were second seed Siddharth Suchde, no. 3 Harinderpal Singh Sandhu and Gaurav Nandrajog of Delhi.
Laxman Joshi, Akhil Daswani and Ravneet Singh, all of Maharashtra, were the remaining men’s qualifiers who crashed out in the first round.
Meanwhile, in the CCI-Western India Open for juniors, Jammu and Kashmir’s Junaid fashioned a significant win over the formidable Kunj Rawani of Maharashtra in a thrilling boys’ under-15 pre-quarter-final. Trailing 0-2 after the second game stretched into extra points, Junaid recovered brilliantly to snatch the next three that included a nail-biting decider that also stretched into extra points.
Among the girls, Tamil Nadu’s Ashita Pranaya Bhengra rallied to beat Nikita Joshi of Maharashtra 8-11, 13-11, 18-16, 11-7 in another absorbing encounter that took the winner into the under-13 semi-finals.
Also impressing was Maharashtra lass Jui Kalgutkar who overcame state mate Khushy Aggarwal 12-10, 12-10, 11-6 in an exciting girls under-17 pre-quarter-finals. As the second seed, Kalgutkar ended a rewarding day by also advancing to the under-13 semi-finals following a 3-0 win over Daksha Pathak.