Mixed luck for India; women make it to final, men crash out
Chennai: It was mixed luck for India in the semi-finals of Team events with the women making the final with a 2-0 win over Korea while the men went down fighting to Malaysia 1-2 in the Asian Senior Squash championship here on Friday.
India’s Anaka Alankamony beat Kim Ga Hye 11-8, 11-3, 11-8 (20minutes) and Joshna Chinappa scored an easy win over Song Sun Mi at 11-2, 11-4, 11-8 (22min). This is the second time that Indian women are making the final after having lost their first appearance in 2002 to Malaysia.
In the men?s semi final,India?s Harinder Singh Pal Sandhu went down fighting to Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan 10-12, 9-11,11-13 but Saurav Ghosal carried a variety of shots in his armour to dispose of reigning Asian individual champion and top seeded Mohd Azlan Iskander of Malaysia 2-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-4.
However, Malaysia Number two and second seeded Ong Ben Hee got the better of Siddharth Suchde 11-6, 8-11, 14-12, 4-11, 11-2 in a marathon 75 minutes duel in the deciding tie.
In the women’s semifinal team event, Hong Kong dashed the hopes of world number one Nicol David-led defending champions Malaysia by a 2-1 margin, while Malaysian men awaits winner of match between last year finalists, Pakistan and Kuwait in the final slated for Saturday.
The highlight of the semifinal matches was India Number One, Savrav Ghosal, world ranked 27, coming from behind to create the major upset of the championship in scalping Mohd Azlan Iskander, who is ranked 18 in PSA.
Ghosal was aggressive after losing the first game, which the Malaysian led at 8-0 before winning it at 11-2.
Ghosal then came up with dazzling straight drives and superb drops after keeping the ball in play in rallies against an experienced and highly rated star and emerged triumphant.
The home team fielded junior star Anaka Alankamony in the first match against Korean third seed Kim Ga Hye and the Indian required just 20 minutes to wrap up the game.
Anaka played superbly with some delectable drops and eye catching long balls to score winners.
In the second match, Joshna, ranked 31 in the world, steamrolled her opponent Song Sun Mi with superior display in the first two games but the Korean top seed showed some semblance of a fight in the third.
Joshna seemed to be complacent and committed a lot of unforced errors but she moved from 4-3 to 8-3 and the closest Song Sun Mi could catch the Indian was 8-7.
In the women’s second semifinal, Nicol won 11-3, 11-8, 11-5 against Hong Kong’s Rebacca Chiu but in the next two matches, Joey Chan and Annie Au turned the tables on the favourites to take sweet revenge of their earlier losses in title matches in the championship for the last over six years.
Joey played remarkably well to get back her rhythm after losing the close first game to Low Wee Wern. She won the next three games. The fourth game was a neck and neck affair but Joey wriggled out of tight situations and emerged triumphant 8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 in 50 minutes.
There was greater pressure on Delia Arnold who trailed 0-2 but managed to win the third game. Annie Au took a 4-0 lead in the fourth game before the Malaysian levelled the score.
At 6-4, Annie Au, who was given medical attention on her right wrist, steadied her game while Delia made errors. Annie Au won 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7 in 60 minutes.