World Squash: Indian girls storm into quarters

Wroclaw (Poland), July 25 (IANS) Indian girls put in their best performance so far to sweep aside Japan 3-0 and book a place in the quarter-final of the World Junior Women's Team Championship squash here.

Harshit Kaur Jawanda put India ahead by defeating Risa Sugimoto 11-6, 11-3, 5-11, 11-4 on Wednesday, and Lakshya Ragavendran sealed the tie when she beat Satomi Watanabe 11-5, 11-7, 10-12, 14-12, before Sachika Ingale eased past Momoka Nakahira 11-9, 11-8, 11-4, in the inconsequential third singles.

India take on Hong Kong in the quarter-final. Hong Kong, seeded fourth, have been impressive in the tournament so far with Asian junior champions Ho Ka Po (U-19)and Choi Uen Shan (U-17) yet to drop a game in these championships. Ho Tze Lok has been equally impressive.

Jawanda took control of the match early on, pinning Sugimoto to the back corners and pounced on Japanese girl's errors to win the first game 11-6.

Jawanda continued to dominate the front of the court and Sugimoto could not counter as the Indian youngster raced away with the second game.

Sugimoto pulled out all the stops in an amazing display of athleticism as she retrieved every ball and played absolutely wonderful drops to take the third game to 5. However, Jawanda re-asserted her dominance in the fourth winning to 4 and putting India 1-0 ahead in 22 minutes.

Ragavendran showed off her array of strokes in racing away to a two-game lead against Watanabe. The Japanese youngster could do precious little in the face of such aggressive stroke play.

But Watanabe hung on and waited for her chances to take the third game 12-10. Ragavendran had match ball at 10-9, but could not convert allowing Watanabe to reduce the deficit.

In an extremely tight fourth game, Ragavendran held her nerve to close out the match at 14-12 giving India an unassailable 2-0 lead and a place in the quarterfinal.

In the final rubber, Ingale was largely untroubled in what turned out to be a routine win against Nakahira in 20 minutes to complete the 3-0 win for India.

Results:

India beat Japan 3-0 (Harshit Kaur Jawanda bt Risa Sugimoto11-6 11-3 5-11 11-4; Lakshya Ragavendran bt Satomi Watanabe 11-5 11-7 10-12 14-12; Sachika Ingale bt Momoka Nakahira 11-9 11-8 11-4).

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