Press Reports & Indian News (2003)
It was a day to remember in the annals of the Squash Rackets Association of Maharashtra. It brought out its own annual publication, the SRAM ANNUAL. Something even the national federation has not attempted or done. Nana Chudasama, former sherriff, said ``It is good you have put some girls on the cover, that will ensure that it won’t be ignored.’’
The annual has faithfully recorded all the events of the year. It has also chronicled the activities of the association for the past three years since Khalid Ansari took over. Importantly it has taken note of the contribution of the Indian Squash Professionals who are like a beacon for others to follow---working very much in the manner of NGOs , a sporting NGO, if you please. SRAM president Khalid Ansari said the association would try its utmost to spread the sport and use every nook and corner of the city. He was hopeful of the two courts coming up at Ruparel College, at their new management institute. He thanked Shrikant (Lord) Ruparel for his efforts in this dream coming true.
A new tourney, the Herald Maritime Services Open offering the biggest prize money ever, was also unveiled on the occasion at Khar Gymkhana, which has suddenly turned into a home of squash.
Sah and Sanghi, Mumbai's leading automobile dealers, have come forward to extend support to the rapidly expanding sporting facilities of Mumbai Police at Marine Drive and elsewhere in the city. Ranjan Sanghi, executive director of Sah and Sanghi Group of Companies and vice-president of the Squash Racquets Association of Maharashtra (SRAM), presented a cheque for Rs 10 lakh on Monday to police commissioner R S Sharma at police headquarters at Crawford Market.
The amount is part of a total contribution of Rs 20 lakh to the police force and will be utilised to set up improved and additional indoor sports facilities at the Police Gymkhana at Marine Drive.
If nothing else, this monsoon might just make Gaurav Nandrajog more religious. The talented youngster’s got a prayer on his lips these days-that just skill, talent and drive should be enough to see him through to the one place he’s aspiring for –the Professional Squash Players’ Association (PSA) circuit.
The 18-year-old Delhi lad is turning professional like his squash peers junior national champion Saurav Ghosal (16), Mumbai’s Supreet Singh (19) and Chennai’s Joshna Chinappa (16), but unfortunately the Squash Racquets Federation of India (SRFI) has asked him to fend for himself on the PSA Tour, unlike the other three, who are being sponsored by SRFI.
But Gaurav is seemingly unfazed after having received the short end of the SRFI stick.
“I was informed that they do not have the finances to back
me on the Tour. So now I’m hoping that the prize money I make from the
tournaments I play, will see me through to the PSA Tour,” said Gaurav
after beating Jindal’s Vikas Jhangra 15-10, 15-10, 15-11 to reach the
final of the Herald Maritime Services Open Squash Championship at the
Topseed in the U-19 category since Sourav decided to play
in the Men’s category, Gaurav will now play Mumbai’s Sahil Vora in the
final and from the looks of it, he could certainly do with the Rs50,000
prize money that awaits the winner.
Gaurav and Saurav, who are also part of the National team that finished with a silver in the Asian Junior Championship held earlier this year, have played in the final of almost ever junior squash tournament in the country, invariably with Saurav usually getting the better of the exchanges.
“I am really looking forward to playing on the PSA circuit, that’s probably the best exposure we can get,” says Gaurav. The trio of Supreet, Saurav and Gaurav will make their PSA debut in NewZealand in August.
The commerce student from Shree Ram Commerce College, Delhi knows a thing or two about difficuilt finances. He has been forced to play in tournaments in South East Asia because the European circuit, better when it comes to the kind of exposure and competition, is too expensive.
Gaurav won the Singapore Junior Open and finished Fifth in the Malaysian Junior Open last year.
NEHA DHUPIA (Miss India 2001) at Otters Club Finals to cheer for Ritwik
Like father, like son (Asian Age: 25-6-2003)
The city, in the recent times has been witnessing enough squash events, so as to sort out talent required to help the game in the country at its highest level. Players like Sahil Vora, Sachika Balwani, Ritwik Bhattacharya, Mekhala Subedar and Joshna Chinnapa have been the front-runners as many of them cropping up from Mumbai itself.
The Indian Oil- Servo Otters, All India Open Squash Championship held in the city recently ended amidst a similar competition with a couple of Mumbaities once again leading the way.
Third seed Vikram Malhotra who was crowned the under –15 champion remained
one among them. Malhotra had also grabbed the under –13 title two years
ago. The 13 – year–old lad toppled top seed Harinderpal Sandhu of Chandigarh in the summit clash, last week.
ninth standard student of Beacon High School vehementely revealed. “I am
excited about this victory because it was the second successive victory in
the tournament as I had won the under–13 title too.”
have won three to four titles away from home and want to represent India
in the next couple of years” said the ambitious boy.
fan of Jonathan Power wants to play against him, “I am a follower of
Jonathan Power and wish to compete with him. I feel this is the best phase
of my playing career,” Vikram stated.
Vikram’s father Shiv Malhotra was the happiest man present at the Otters
Club, “Nobody expected my son to win, but I was confident about my son’s
victory,” he said and recalls the most memorable victory of his son, when
he defeated Jansher Khan’s son Kamran Khan at the Hongkong Open.
Stating about initial days of his career Vikram informed, “I started my career without a coach playing at Khar Gymkhana and Otters Club, which affected my fitness level, thereby affecting my game. Later I came under the guidance of coach Vivek Gautam who worked hard with me on my fitness.”
Vikram is inspired by his father Shiv Malhotra who also use to play at the higher level, “I got inspiration for playing squash from my father, before he use to defeated me now I have taken the upper-hand” told the delighted boy.
“We support him to the fullest but main problem is the financial support which is unavailable. It is difficult to get sponsors and we cannot send our children to the finest squash academy. If a country like Pakistan can get good support than why not us,” said Malhotra senior dejectedly. In the backdrop of what his father thinks of him, Vikram himself has been working hard to achieve the required results. In view of the tasks that he has set for himself, the youngster toils for a couple of hours every evening after a day of hard work at the study table.
The coming years are definitely going to put Vikram under the microscope where he has to perform well on both fronts-studies and sports. However, the young lad is pretty determined to as to achieve the priorities he as set for himself.
has tons of talent
The sport of squash has its Saurav too, also hailing from the same City of Joy as Ganguly – Saurav Ghoshal. He too was a cricketer, an all-rounder at Arun Lal’s academy in his under – 13 days. Then squash tookn his fancy. He has no regrets about the switch, having become India’s leading under – 19 player, won the German juniors title and with the potential to be India No. 2 Ritwik Bhattacharya at the recent Indian Oil- Servo Otters Club Open.
was the one who shed the most sweat at the event. He had to play in the
under – 19 as well as the men’s section. He reached the finals of both
but had tough games in the juniors section. These exertions prevented him
from making a match of the men’s final, he tells in the
What was it like
playing our only man on the international circuit, Ritwik Bhattacharya in
But you kept pace in the final!
but only for the first five points. Then fatigue started creeping in,
there was too much lactic acid in the system.
At the academy at
Chennai they must be gearing you up for such rigors ?
What’s been the
transformation between the Ghoshal of a year ago and now?
How do you cope
with boredom factor at academies?
Tell us about your high point winning the German Open juniors title.
win was important in my career. I had suffered a slight slump at the start
of this year. I want back to my home Kolkata for month had good fun and
came back refreshed. I trained really hard and it paid off.
What are the
areas of improvement?
have to be more patient, improve my defence so that I can shut the door on
Strong foundations for a sound future
WRONG sport? That’s the question one’s tempted to ask when you watch 16-year-old Sourav Ghosal’s career graph.
Consider this – he’s a national U-19 champion at 16. HE was the youngest squash player at the Busan Asiad last year. Last month he won the German Junior Open and will be the youngest Indian to play on the Professional Squash players Association (PSA) circuit in New Zealand this August. A sport more popular than squash and paeans would have been sung about this soft-spoken Bengali.
Observers of the game have been overwhelmed by the remarkable upsurge in the lad’s game. Malaysian coaching legend Major Maniam, the consultant coach to the Squash Racquets Federation of India (SEFI), sums its up aptly when he says, “Sourav has learnt the importance of having a good foundation. You cannot build a beautiful house on sand.” Saurav has shunned a lot of his flamboyant and adventurous courtplay in order to get his basics right, explains Maniam. “Now that his fundamentals are strong, he can afford to be a little extravagant in his play,” he adds.
National Coach Cyrus Poncha, probably the best man to comment on Sourav’s abilities doesn’t have an iota of doubt about where the lad,s headed. “He is our best hope as far as the prospects of winning a medal in the future goes,” says Poncha, who has been working with Sourav for more than a year now.
“Sourav’s game has improved dramatically since February this year,” says Poncha. “He was disappointed with his outings at the British Open and World Juniors earlier this year. But he’s come back strongly and is up among the best in the world in his age category. His unforced errors have come down, he’s getting most of his shots and knicks right.”
Sourav beat European No 1 Dylan Bennet (Holland) in the semi-finals before beating German No 1 Patrick Gaessler in the finals.
Ask Sourav about his squash these days and pat comes the replay – “I don’t play with the pressure that I ‘have’ to win. I have learnt to go a little easy on myself playing the bigger matches. Of course, winning the German Junior Open did my confidence a world of good, but I am enjoying my squash and the training a lot more now.”
He sure does- Sourav annexed the U-19 title at the recently concluded Otters Open and finished runners-up in the men’s category behind Ritwik Bhattacharya, the only Indian on the PSA circuit presently.
SRFI shows ‘professional’ approach
For years now, Indian squash has had to deal with the recurring phenomenon of talented juniors taking their skills abroad to universities and colleges, who offer them squash scholarships.
In a move that will hopefully encourage talent to stay
back, the SRFI last month decided to take three players – Sourav, Joshna
Chinappa and Mumbai’s Supreet Singh to the professional circuit. While
Sourav and Joshna –she will play on the Women’s International Squash
Players Association (WISPA) – were obvious choices, Poncha explained that
the SRFI is backing Singh after he agreed to move to Chennai and train
rigourously for the next two years.
Indian Squash juniors shine (18-5-2003)
|It was three
cheers for India, as Saurav Ghosal, Dipika Pallikal won titles in the
respective age categories while Joshna Chinappa finished a creditable
second in the German Junior Open squash championship on Sunday.
In the under-19 boys section, local boy Ghosal edged past Germany's top ranked Patrick Gassler 9-0, 4-9, 4-9, 10-8 and 9-6 in the final to clinch the crown at Gerlingen, Stuttgart. Ghosal had earlier caused a sensation in the semifinal when he upset European number on e Dylan Bennet. Pallikal won the honours in the under-13 girls event.
Junior Squash Championships, 2003
INDIA WIN THE 11TH ASIAN JUNIORS WOMEN'S TROPHY BY BEATING MALAYSIA 3-0
Joshna Chinappa beat Lim Yok Wah 9-5/ 9-1/ 3-9/9-6,
Vaidehi Reddy beat Sally Looi 10-8/9-5/7-9/9-5
Alisha Mashruwall beat Deli Arnold 9-2/9-4)
Pakistan beat India 2-0
Farhan Mehboob beat Saurav Ghosal 9-1/ 9-0/ 9-5
Khalid Atlas beat 9-5/ 9-0/ 9-0
2nd Round as on 2-2-2003:
1st Round as on 1-2-2003:
Cops taste blood, court squash ! (9th Jan 2003)
But with the end of the camp it will be difficult for Patole to continue
with squash as there are no squash courts at the police headquarters and
the only public squash courts are in Andheri.
JOSHNA CHINAPPA CREATES HISTORY AS SHE IS THE FIRST INDIAN TO WIN THE BRITISH OPEN TITLE
India's Joshna Chinappa followed her sensational defeat of top-seed Sarah Badr in the Women's U17 semi-finals - the Egyptian's first British Open loss in four years - by defeating Australia's Donna Urquhart 9-6 9-5 9-7 in the final, thus providing India's first ever British Junior Open triumph.
finalist, Donna Urquhart, had only a little more luck in her under
17 final when faced with India's Joshna Chinappa, an experienced
player on the world junior scene. This experience was in evident in her
movement, anticipation and shots, which constantly put Urquhart under
pressure, while the Australian rarely had Chinappa under any sort of
By Amitoj Inder Singh
An Indian saying goes "Gold glitters only when it has gone through fire". As a Squash player, Joshna Chinappa has had more than her share of trial and tribulations in her career. Rigged matches, 'briefed' referees, 'disciplinary' actions and even court cases to defend her right to participate in competitions- she has seen it all.
Today, her perseverance, her parents patience and their determination has culminated in Joshna becoming the Worlds Queen of Squash in the Under-17 Age Group. Pitted against Donna Urquhart of Australia who had earlier toppled the top seed on her first international outing,
Joshna made a poor start and squandered a 0-5 lead due to unforced errors. However, she stabilized to recover to 5-5. A long rally saw her take the lead to 6-5. Alarmed, Donna reached for every shot as if her life depended on this, but could not contain Joshna's barrage of hard 'length' shots mixed well with front court shots. Joshna led 8-5, Donna recovered to 6-8 but hit a ball out. Given 'game-ball' again, Joshna got a lucky 'nick' and won 9-6.
The second game saw a higher intensity of attack from Joshna, and the superb retrieving skills of the reed thin Donna which had unsettled other seasoned players in earlier matches. However, Joshna won 9-5.
Two splendid overhead kills from Joshna in the third game saw her lead from the start to 4-0. Though Donna scored a few points, Joshna employed dropshots from the back of the court- a difficult shot- and was soon at 8-4, match ball.
Then, a poor decision from the Referee in awarding a 'No-Let' when Joshna should clearly have got a 'Stroke', and the match, caused her to lose focus. She allowed Donna to reach 7-8 much to the discomfort of the Indian supporters, but it was evident that this was her day when she hit a volley nick on a service return on 7-8! Having got a second chance, she wasted no time to sieze the first opportunity to pass her opponent with a volley length to take the point and the championship 9-6, 9-5, 9-7.
Joshna becomes only the second Indian ever to win a British Junior title, the first being Anil Nayar in 1965. Saurav finished at a commendable 6th place in the Boys under-17 and Dipika at 13 place in Girls Under-13.
Results for 30 Dec
Ramit wins title,
Siddharth, Dipika Runners-Up
Indian had a windfall today with the
largest ever representation in this event culminating in the best ever
result. While Ramit Tandon (Calcutta) became only the third Indian ever
(the first being Joshna Chinnapa and second Harininder Sandhu) to win a
title in the 17th edition of the Scottish Junior Open Squash
Championship- the Second biggest Squash event for Juniors after the
British Juniors, Siddharth Suchde became the first Indian to reach the
Final of the Boys U-19 event. He had beaten Jose Becerril Gonzalez
(Mexico) 9-5, 9-4, 7-9, 9-1 earlier in the day in the Semi Final.
Pitted against the Top Seed Dylan
Bennet (Netherlands) in the Final, Suchde showed no signs of being
overawed at any stage of the match. Dylan had a better start from the
Pole position with a quick lead of 3-1, but Suchde stuck to the
elementry game-plan of driving the ball to length without any attempt to
wallop the ball as most Juniors do these days, armed with Titanium
rackets. Bennet lost his patiecne with not just the ball, but the Referee
as well, getting into frequent arguments. Suchde went ahead 6-3, but
Dylan showed his superior class and snatched the game 9-6. The second
game saw Suchde level 3-3 from a deficit of 1-3, when in a gesture of
highest sportsmanship, he admitted to his Drop being 'down' even after
the Referee had called it 'good'. He lost the game 5-9 despite having
Dylan on the receiving end on several occasions. Dylan was put in tight
spots in the third game as well, but owing to his advantage in age,
exposure and experience was never in any doubt about taking the
Championship. Next year though, Suchde will be at his peak in the U-19
age group, and we can look forward to more exploits from him.
However, Ramit Tandon did not want to
wait anything close to a year and took the Under-11 Title againt the
hard hitting dynamo from Scotland- Robert Downer. While losing the first
game 5-9, he not only won the next 9-5, but left Downer bewildered with
the 9-0 score in the third. He won the fourth 9-2, making his first
outing to U.K. a successful one.
Dipika Pallikal (Chennai) lacked the
experience that her opponent Emily Park from USA had, and lost 0-9, 1-9,
1-9 without putting Emiliy into any trouble. She stood Runners up in the
Girls Under-13 section.
Joshna Chinappa (Chennai) played in the
3-4 place playoff like she should have played yesterday in the Semi
Final! She beat Genevieve Lessard (Canada) 9-3, 9-2, 9-2 to finish third
in the Girls Under-17 section.
Rishi Tandon (Calctta) finished in the
9th place in the Under-11 event, while Harinder Sandhu (Chandigarh)
finished at a commendable 13th place, beating C.J.Plimpton (USA) 9-2,
9-4, 9-1. Harinder, now 13 years of age, will peak in the Under-15 age
group next year.