Baitha, Fadte and Chotrani progress

Punching above their weight, Rahul Baitha and Yash Fadte of India scripted wins to enter the boys’ third round of the WSF-World junior squash championships at the ISA courts here on Wednesday. Also making the next round was Veer Chotrani, who defeated Mikael Ismail of South Africa 11-8, 11-8, 13-11.

While Rahul made short work of Nils Roesch of Switzerland 11-5, 12-10, 10-8, Yash prevailed over Abdel Rahma Ghait of Germany 10-12, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 in the second round.

Other Indians, Advait Adik, Utkarsh Baheti and Sankalp Anand, however, exited the tournament. Advait and Utkarsh gave a good account of themselves in the second round while Anand bowed out in the opening round.

The 17-year-old Rahul has previously played four International events, all of them being the Asian juniors. There was ample evidence of his experience in the manner he handled the crunch moments.

Playing fluently from either flank, there was harmony in Rahul’s movements. His smooth footwork ensured that he hardly missed an opportunity to finish off points.

In the second and third games, Rahul trailed 5-8, but fought back to win in straight games. Roesch appeared nervous, and couldn’t match Rahul from the backcourt. Moreover, he was feeble in attack.

Against the top seed Marwan Tarek of Egypt, Advait produced some lovely drop shots from the back and front court. In his debut, the 16-year-old earned praise from his opponent. “It was a tough match, and I was quite surprised by the way he played,” said Marwan.

Important results (second round): Marwan Tarek (Egy) bt Advait Adik 11-5, 11-7, 11-7; Rahul Baitha bt Nils Roesch (Sui) 11-5, 12-10, 11-8; Mostafa Montaser (Egy) bt Hafiz Zhafri (Mas) 11-2, 15-13, 11-2.

Nicholas Wall (Eng) bt Lisandro Ortiz (Arg) 11-2, 11-2, 11-6; Abbas Zeb (Pak) bt Elijah Thomas (Nzl) 11-4, 11-4, 11-3; Veer Chotrani bt Mikael Ismail (RSA) 11-8, 11-8, 13-11.

Matias Knudsen (Col) bt Alasdair Prott (Sco) 11-1, 11-6, 11-3; Nils Schwab (Ger) bt Utkarsh Baheti (Ind) 8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 5-11, 11-7; Omar El Torkey (Egy) bt Jacob Ford (Aus) 11-5, 11-2, 11-6, Mostafa El Serty (Egy) bt Manuel Paquemar (Fra) 11-5, 11-7, 12-10; Yash Fadte bt Abdel Rahma Ghait (Ger) 10-12, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6; Darren Rahul Pragasam (Mas) bt Christopher Murphy (Sco) 11-4, 11-6, 11-6.

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