Indian youngsters go down fighting to Egypt in U-21 squash

Chennai: India`s top junior player Ravi Dixit and young Karan Malik fought gallantly before going down to Egypt`s world junior champions in their second round match in the Chennai Open World Cup Under-21 Squash Team championship.

Highly ranked stars Marwan El Shorbagy (ranked 42) and Karim Abdel Gawad (41) beat Ravi (world number 193) and Karan (399) respectively.

Indian star Dipika Pallikal was today rested since India is taking on Australia in their crucial leave tie tomorrow.

Hot favourites for the title and top seeds Egypt were billed to win the match against India, seeded fourth behind England and France. But, the visitors` top two men – Marwan and Karim -- dropped a game each before they could come out victorious.

Ravi played a clean game against Marwan, except in the third game when the Indian was found wanting as he started committing unforced errors. Ravi concentrated on returning the ball to a great extent. However, lack of experience cost him as he failed to cash in on the chances that came his way.

It was not easy going at all for Marwan, particularly in the fourth game when Ravi matched his rival for points and in fact saved the match ball twice before taking the game and the match to extra points.

After Asian junior champion and world number 117 Anaka Alankamony lost to highly ranked Nour El Sherbini (28), Karan Malik was fielded ahead of Ramit Tandon in the dead rubber.

Karan, a skillful player, did manage to claim the first game but Karim Abdel Gawad, ranked 41, swiftly got back his rhythm and changed the pattern of the game with sheer mix of pace before clinching the match.

The highlight of the day was third seeded France causing a minor flutter beating second seeds England 2-1. Frenchman Lucas Serme, ranked 136, was the toast of the evening as he kept up the pace from the beginning to score a straight game win over Charles Sharpes of England at 11-8, 11-5, 11-4.

England neutralised the match score to 1-1 when Emily Whitlock beat Cyrielle Peltier 11-4, 11-1, 11-9 but Geoffrey Demont brought cheers to the French camp with a hard fought win over Ben Coleman 11-8, 11-8, 11-8.


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