Azan, Malhotra score facile wins to move into second round

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Mumbai, Sep 17 (UNI) Third seed Mohammed Asyraf Azan of Malaysia and number four Vikram Malhotra scored easy wins to sail into the Men's Open second round of the 33rd Bombay Gymkhana-HSBC Maharashtra State Open Squash Championships, at the Bombay Gymkhana here today.

Joining Azan and Malhotra were two former national champions Akhil Behl and Manish Chotrani, who faced stiff challenges and were stretched into four games.

World number 101 Azan warmed up for sterner tests ahead, as he beat qualifier Jai Bor 11-7, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9 after surprisingly dropping the second game and facing resistance in the fourth.

In contrast Malhotra, being trained under top Egyptian coach Amir Wagih, swept past qualifier Sami Johnson in straight games.

Malhotra, who led India to a fourth place finish in the World Junior Championships recently and was third at the US Open, overcame Johnson 11-8, 11-2, 11-6.

Akhil Behl set up a quarter-final clash with India no. two and second seed Ritwik Bhattacharya after rallying to a hard-fought 13-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7 win over top Professional Rohit More.

Manish Chotrani also endured a late challenge before fashioning a 11-7, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8 win over top junior Laxman Joshi of Jindal, and will next meet Azan in the quarter-finals.

Among the women, Shria Khatri beat Shaheen Madraswala 11-8, 11-5, 5-11, 11-6, while Saumya Karki breezed past Jaya Bondre 11-1, 11-0, 11-1 to advance to the second round.

India junior international Mahesh Mangaonkar and Rahil Fazelbhoy enjoyed a rewarding day after sailing into second round in the boys under-15 and under-17 categories.

RESULTS: Men's Open (1st Rd): Akhil Behl bt Rohit More 13-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7; Manish Chotrani bt Laxman Joshi 11-7, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8; Vikram Malhotra bt Sami Johnson 11-8, 11-2, 11-6; Sahil Vora bt Navin Jangra 11-5, 11-3, 11-7; Vikas Jangra bt Gunraj Singh 11-5, 11-3, 11-1; Mohd. Asyraf Azan (Malaysia) bt Jai Bor 11-7, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9.

Women (1st Rd): Shria Khatri bt Shaheen Madraswala 11-8, 11-5, 5-11, 11-6; Saumya Karki bt Jaya Bondre 11-1, 11-0, 11-1.

Boys U-19 (1st Rd): Naveen Jangra bt Sami Johnson 11-13, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7.

Boys U-17 (1st Rd): Pranay Merchant bt Utkarsh Kumar 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-4; Mahesh Mangaonkar bt Rohan Paranjpe 11-7, 11-7, 11-7; Rahil Fazelbhoy bt Kahan Gandhi 11-4, 11-8, 11-2; Anuj Behl bt Ishan Advani 10-12, 11-9, 11-5, 5-11, 11-6; Aditya Advani bt Indraniel Barua 12-10, 11-7, 12-10; Ashray Ohri bt Nishaad Nathani 11-4, 11-3, 11-4; Samir Mistry bt Viraj Nayar 11-1, 11-4, 11-3; Karm Kumar bt Dipal Borade 11-2, 11-3, 11-4.

Boys U-15 (1st Rd): Mahesh Mangaonkar bt Vijay Kumar 11-6, 11-5, 11-9; Rahil Fazelbhoy bt V. Ladiwala 11-8, 11-7, 11-7; Rohan Paranjpe bt Anuj Behl 5-11, 11-6, 13-11, 11-9; Utkarsh Kumar bt Raghav Mehrotra 11-7, 11-8, 11-5; Aditya Advani bt V. Chhada 11-7, 11-6, 11-4.

Girls U-19 (2nd Rd): Shria Khatri bt Neerja Aiyer 11-0, 11-0, 11-1.

1st Rd: Shaheen Madraswala bt K. Agarwal 11-3, 11-2, 11-2.

Professionals (QF): Sachin Jadhav bt Vijay Jangra 12-10, 16-14, 7-11, 11-8; Rohit More bt Rehman Sayed 11-9, 11-4, 11-4.

UNI GS RN RKM RK2055

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