Senior National Squash Championships: Teen star Anahat Singh the final hurdle for Joshna ChinappaDecember 10, 2022, Chennai
Standing between Joshna Chinappa and her 19th title is a petite and frail-looking 14-year-old Anahat Singh.
But make no mistake, Anahat is a pocket dynamite and Joshna knows it. When the 36-year-old takes on the teenager, in the summit clash of the Senior National Squash Championships here on Saturday, the contest will be one for the ages. While Joshna breezed past Akansha Salunkhe 11-9, 11-9, 11-8, Anahat made light work of Tanishka Jain 11-4, 11-7, 11-2 in the women’s semifinals on Friday.
In the men’s final, top seed Abhay Singh will take on S. Velavan. Abhay disposed of old warhorse Sandeep Jangra 11-2, 11-2, 11-4, while S. Velavan had to be at his best to outwit Harinderpal Singh 5-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-9.
The contest between Velavan and Harinder — the two have similar styles — was interesting in parts. The left-hander Velavan turned out to be a tad quicker and played the key points far better than his opponent. Harinder, a former champion, hit an easy backhand drop straight to the ‘Tin’ in the second game at 9-9, and he couldn’t recover from thereon even as Velavan grew stronger by creating some wonderful angles and being more aggressive in the next two games.
Anahat said she was looking forward to play her maiden women’s final.
“Playing against Joshna, who is one of the best players from the country, is great and I am excited. I hope to do well as I have been training for the Nationals for a year,” she said.
The results (semifinals)
Men: 1-Abhay Singh (TN) bt (5/8) Sandeep Jangra (SSCB) 11-2, 11-2, 11-4; (5/8)-S. Velavan (TN) bt Harinderpal Singh (TN) 5-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-9.
Women: 1-Joshna Chinappa (TN) bt (5/8)-Akansha Salunkhe (Goa) 11-9, 11-9, 11-8; 2-Anahat Singh (Del) bt Tanishka Jain (Mah) 11-4, 11-7, 11-2.