UP lads impress on opening day of Squash tourney

Mumbai: Mohd Saqib and Vikram Pratap Singh of Uttar Pradesh and Vicky Singh of Maharashtra endured opening round blues while fashioning hard-fought men`s first round wins in the 58th Senior National Championship and 67th CCI-Western India Open Squash tournament at the Cricket Club of India here on Saturday.

Saqib overcame Pradeep Paswan of Maharashtra 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9, while Vikram Pratap beat Sikander Pandey of Services Sports Control Board 11-5, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8 in tight contests, on a rewarding day for players from Uttar Pradesh.

Vicky Singh of Maharashtra experienced a surprise challenge before registering an exciting 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 3-11, 11-4 win over Jammu & Kashmir’s Haneefa who came close to snatching a significant win after trailing 1-2 and forcing the decider.

In the CCI-Western India tournament for juniors, Amal Asrani of Maharashtra beat fancied state mate Aryaman Adik 11-1, 11-0, 11-2 in a significant upset of the opening day among boys under-13.

In the same category, another Maharashtra lad K V J Karthik prevailed over Hardik Bhootra of Rajasthan 11-8,14-12, 5-11, 11-7 in a close match.

Boys under-17 top seed Vrishabh Kotian of Tamil Nadu kicked off his campaign with a fluent 3-0 win.