Joshna Chinappa and Saurav Ghosal, the country’s squash aces, reigned supreme in the 77th Senior National Championship at the ISA courts here, claiming their 18th and 13th titles respectively.
Chinappa, the torch-bearer for Indian women’s squash for close to two decades now, showed why she was the one to beat as she put paid to the aspirations of Tanvi Khanna, (seeded 3/4) in four games to add yet another national title to her kitty.
The top-seeded Chennai player recovered brilliantly after losing the first game to post an 8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 win to underline her superiority in the finals on Saturday. After losing the first game, the top-seed changed tactics and made an effort to control the pace.
She added a touch of variety to the returns and most of all tested Tanvi’s agility no end. The pressure worked after a while and Tanvi’s earlier strength on returns faded and Chinappa forged ahead. Chinappa had last year broken the record of 16 national titles held by Bhuvneshwari Kumari by winning in Pune last year.
She won her first national crown in 2000 and has since lost only two matches, both finals. In the men’s final, Ghosal showed why he is still the man to beat, with a crushing 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 defeat of young Abhishek Pradhan (No.2 seed) to win the title yet again.
The experienced No 1 seed did not give his opponent any chance in the summit clash and raced away to victory. “Happy things went my way. A good session on the court and that helps as I look forward to some tough challenges in the pro-circuit ahead,” Ghosal said after the triumph.
The chief guest on the final day was Inspector General S Paramesh, Commander, Indian Coast Guard (Eastern Region), an avid squash player himself. He and SRFI President Debendranath Sarangi gave away the trophies and prizes.