79th National Squash C’ship: Top seed Abhay Singh rallies to win from a game down to enter quarters

Men’s top seed Abhay Singh (Tamil Nadu) rallied from a game down to beat Mohit Bhatt (Maharashtra) 3-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-5 in the men’s round of 16 at the 79th National Squash championship in the Indian Squash & Triathlon Academy (ISTA) on Monday.

Abhay seemed uninspired in the first game, which prompted his coach Balamurugan to have a chat with him during the break.

“Nothing, just a slow start. Just one of those slow days. (Coach was) just talking to me about what we worked on [and] how I was feeling. He knows we’ve been in a lot of these situations before. So, he was like: ‘There’s nothing to be too concerned about,’” said Abhay after the match.

With a couple of unforced errors (hitting below the tin) and otherwise enforcing errors from Mohit, Abhay claimed the second game 11-4.

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The third game was marked by Abhay having an argument with the official over a decision. He was asked to not talk any further after a point and to continue playing. He resumed arguing with the official after the match.

Abhay was called out for “exaggerated physical contact” as he seemingly attempted to deliberately push his opponent. Later, his head collided with the back of his opponent’s head, and he was seen tending to his bleeding teeth gum after the match.

Ranjit Singh (Services) caused an injury scare as he twisted his ankle and was briefly tended to when Velavan Senthilkumar (Tamil Nadu) went 1-0 up in the first game. Velavan won in straight games, 11-6, 11-8, 11-3.

Diwakar Singh (Services) made it 6-10 from being 2-10 down before losing the first game of the match. He eventually lost 11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8 to Harinder Pal Sandhu (Tamil Nadu).

The results
Men (round of 16): Abhay Singh (TN) bt Mohit Bhatt (MH) 3-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-5; Guhan Senthilkumar (TN) bt Sandeep Jangra (SC) 11-9, 10-12, 1-11, 14-12, 11-9; Vaibhav Chauhan (SC) bt Avinash Sahani (MH) 11-7, 11-8, 11-3; Suraj Chand (MH) bt Prithvi Singh (CH) 16-14, 6-11, 11-8, 11-3; Veer Chotrani (MH) bt Ravi Dixit (SC) 11-6, 11-4, 11-8; Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (TN) bt Diwakar Singh (SC) 11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8; Vedant Patel (GJ) bt Rahul Baitha (MH) 11-1, 7-11, 13-11, 11-1; Velavan Senthilkumar (TN) bt Ranjit Singh (SC) 11-6, 11-8, 11-3.


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