Ritwik sets up title clash with Iskandar

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Mumbai, Sep 18 (UNI) Top seed Mohammed Azlan Iskandar of Malaysia and second seed Ritwik Bhattacharya of India cruised to comfortable wins to set up a mouth-watering Men's Open title clash in the 33rd Bombay Gymkhana-HSBC Maharashtra State Open Squash Championships at the Bombay Gymkhana here today.

Enjoying his game at the moment, Bhattacharya swept past unseeded Vikas Jangra of the Services 11-7, 11-3, 11-2, in a semi-final that lasted just 23 minutes.

Warming up for the forthcoming World Open, Bhattacharya found the going easy as he toyed with a hapless Jangra to sail through.

''I was confident from the start. I got my swing right. But the most important thing is I am enjoying my game better than I ever did,'' said a delighted Bhattacharya.

Of his Championship clash on Friday, Bhattacharya added, ''It will be a quality contest. As I said, I'm enjoying my game and will try to make the best of home conditions.'' World No 11 Iskandar overcame compatriot and World No 101 Mohammed Asyraf Azan 11-7, 11-2, 11-6 in the second semi-final that lasted 26 minutes.

Familiar with Azan's game, Iskandar kept the ball in play and was in no hurry to end the rallies as he controlled the match from the back of the court.

''It was quite an easy match. But I'm still trying to get used to the conditions,'' said Iskandar after the match. ''The final against Ritwik will be a good one...let's see who wins,'' he quipped.

Women's top seed and India no one Joshna Chinappa booked her berth in the final following an expected 11-5, 11-3, 11-9 win over fourth seed Surbhi Mishra.

Chinappa awaits the winner of the second semi-final between second seed Dipika Pallikal and no three Mandy Kennedy, who will face each other on Friday afternoon.

India's top junior Mahesh Mangaonkar of Mumbai set himself up for a double after advancing to the boys Under-17 and Under-15 finals.

Likewise, Saumya Karki was also in line for a double crown after entering the girls' Under-19 and Under-17 finals.

RESULTS: Men's Open (SF): Ritwik Bhattacharya bt Vikas Jangra 11-7, 11-3, 11-2; Mohd. Azlan Iskandar (Malaysia) bt Muhd Asyraf Azan (Malaysia) 11-7, 11-2, 11-6.

Women (SF): Joshna Chinappa bt Surbhi Mishra 11-5, 11-3, 11-9.

Boys U-19 (SF): Vikram Malhotra bt Naveen Jangra 11-4, 11-7, 11-9; Laxman Joshi bt Gunraj Singh 11-6, 11-5, 4-11, 11-2.

Boys U-17 (SF): Mahesh Mangaonkar bt Ashray Ohri 11-6, 13-11, 11-6; Karm Kumar bt Samir Mistrya 11-6, 11-1, 11-6.

Boys U-15 (SF): Rahil Fazelbhoy bt Ishan Advani 11-3, 11-9, 11-7; Mahesh Mangaonkar bt Aditya Advani 11-7, 11-8, 11-2.

Boys U-13 (SF): Raghav Mehrotra bt Yohan Pandole 11-6, 11-4, 11-6; A. Kochhar bt A. Shah 11-8, 11-4, 11-6.

Boys U-11 (SF): Yohan Surti bt Vedant Rao 11-2, 11-4, 11-6; K.

Prasad bt R. Agarwal 9-11, 11-4, 11-6, 10-12, 11-9.

Girls U-19 (SF): Surbhi Mishra bt Shaheen Madraswala 11-4, 11-5, 11-5; Saumya Karki bt Shria Khatri 11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4.

Girls U-17 (SF): Shri Khatri bt k. Agarwal 11-3, 11-1, 11-6; Saumya Karki bt A. Kulkarni 11-3, 11-1, 11-1.

Girls U-13 (SF): A. Advani bt A. Mehra 11-2, 11-3, 11-4; G. Raheja bt A. Nambiar 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 11-9.

Professionals (SF): Rohit More bt Sanjay Pawar 11-8, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9; Temo Gomez bt Sachin Jadhav 11-8, 12-10, 11-3.

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