Jui retains crown
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Top seed Jui Kalgutkar halted No. 3 Nikita Joshi to retain the girls' under-15 title, in the Matunga Gymkhana Junior Open Squash Tournament.
Bombay Gymkhana's Kalgutkar endured an early challenge in which she dropped the opening set over extra points before racing to a 3-1 win over Joshi who was hampered by an ankle injury. In the match of the day that went down to the wire, top seed Aryan Parekh of Matunga Gymkhana lived dangerously before rallying to a thrilling 11-9, 6-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-9 win over second seed Rahul Baitha of Jindal Squash Academy.
A gritty Baitha put Parekh under pressure from the start and surged to a surprise 2-1 advantage. He was on the verge of a famous victory in the crucial fourth set but the experienced Parekh smacked timely winners to force the decider. Victory was once again within Baitha's reach when he went ahead 7-4 in the fifth and final set. But he frittered away the advantage as Parekh drew level at 8-all. The pressure got to Baitha and forced him into errors as the never-say-die Parekh capitalized to seal the title in a tight finish.
Results (All Finals): Girls U-11: Ananya Dabke (Hiranandani) bt Avani Nagar (Hiranandani) 9-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-9. Girls U-13: 2-Aakanksha Rao (Chembur Gym) bt 1-Diya Joukhani (Khar Gym) 11-4, 11-2, 5-11, 11-9. Girls U-15: 1-Jui Kalgutkar (Bombay Gym) bt 3-Nikita Joshi (Otters Club) 10-12, 11-4, 11-6, 11-4. Boys U-11: 1-Neel Joshi (Otters Club) bt 2-Tanay Punjabi (Otters Club) 11-3, 11-5, 12-10. Boys U-13: 1-Aryan Parekh (Matunga Gym) bt 2-Rahul Baitha (Jindal) 11-9, 6-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-9. Boys U-15: 4-Sandeep Paswan (Jindal) bt 3-Yohann Surti (Willingdon SC) 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5. Boys U-17: 1-Aishwary Singh (Jindal) bt 2-Akhilesh Yadav (Jindal) 9-11, 11-9, 14-12, 11-9. Boys U-19: 1-Mahesh Mangaonkar (CCI) bt Madhav Dhingra (Otters Club) 11-4, 11-9, 11-8.
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