Nat’l squash championship in Pune: Former India No. 2 Dixit overcomes 15-year-old easily

By beating Arin Khot 11-4, 11-0, 11-3 in round four of the prequalifying event at the 76th Senior National Squash Championship at the I-Squash academy in Mundhwa on Tuesday, the 26-year-old took a step towards entering the main draw.
Ravi Dixit (blue t-shirt) and Arin Khot in action during the 76th Senior National Squash Championship at Isquash academy in Pune.(Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)
Ravi Dixit (blue t-shirt) and Arin Khot in action during the 76th Senior National Squash Championship at Isquash academy in Pune.(Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jun 12, 2019 06:23 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Pune | ByPranav Shahaney, Pune

Ravi Dixit, former India number 2 and the first player from the country to win the Asian Junior Championships in 2010, is back on his quest to become one of the country’s front runners in the sport of squash.

By beating Arin Khot 11-4, 11-0, 11-3 in round four of the prequalifying event at the 76th Senior National Squash Championship at the I-Squash academy in Mundhwa on Tuesday, the 26-year-old took a step towards entering the main draw, where he undoubtedly will be a name, medal hopefuls will be looking to avoid.

His opponent, 11 years his junior, may not be a household name on the national circuit, but had enjoyed a decent qualifying run.

After the first few points, Dixit knew that his opponent was looking for the quick winners rather than playing longer rallies. Thus, to make things tougher for the youngster, Dixit played a number of drop shots and forced Khot to reposition himself and chase down every ball from the initial stages of the game.

This tactic seemed to reap heavy dividends as the 15-year-old failed to win a single point in the second game. He clearly started to tire because of the heavy running in the first game and failed to match up to the level of intensity his senior opponent was displaying.

In the third, Khot came out all guns blazing and decided to play a more aggressive game. After winning two early points, he got the momentum he needed to take the fight to the 26-year-old. However, Dixit’s experience of seeing out matches came handy and he won the third 11-4 despite being tested during the dying stages of the contest.

It wasn’t too challenging for me as I have been a main draw player and had to qualify this time because I didn’t compete last year. The matches thus far, including this one, have been quite easy for me. Regarding my opponent today, he’s a good player and pushes a lot. I even spoke to him after the game explaining what he needs to do. Also, because of the heat and the lack of air conditioning inside the court, it’s important for me to conserve my energy and get done with matches quicker.

-Ravi Dixit, Uttar Pradesh

It was a very nice experience for me, regardless of the fact that I lost today. Playing against men’s players showed me where I must aspire to be and what standard I must match. I also think this could change my game for the better. I learnt that I must keep attacking and maintain a better level of fitness if I have to challenge the very best.

-Arun Khot, Maharashtra (Mumbai)

Following are the Results: Third Qualifying Round: Men’s:

Harsh Kumar(SR) bt Animesh Chug(SR) 11-6,11-5,11-8

Awdesh Yadav(SR) bt Chiraag Khemani (Mah)11-7, 11-8 ,11-9

Satyajeet Nagdev (MP) bt Kiran Shinde(Mah)11-2, 11-4, 11-3

Ch Arun Kumar(SR) bt Prateek Gurnani(RJ) 8-11, 11-4, 13-11, 8-11, 11-4

Karan Patel(Mah)bt Yashraj Bhargava(MP) 11-7, 8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9

Vaibhav Chauhan(SR) bt Mukesh Rai(DL) 11-0, 11-2, 11-4

Jairaj Singh(RJ) bt Atul Kumar Yadav(UP)11-6, 10-12, 14-12, 11-8

Mehul Kumar (SR) bt Gyanendra Singh(UP) 11-4, 11-9, 11-3

Veer Chotrani (Mah)bt Mohit Bhatt(Mah) 13-11, 11-3, 11-2

Abhimanyu Pande (MP) bt Gursimar Singh (DL)11-8, 11-8, 4-11, 1-11, 11-9

Divit Poojary (Mah) bt Sachin Shinde(Mah) 11-5, 11-7, 1-11, 11-8

Shahbaj Khan(SR) bt Babalu Kumar (UP)11-5, 11-9, 11-6

Harshil Sharma(MP) bt Aakash Sharma (HR)[41/56] 11-7 ,11-9, 11-7

Puminder Kumar(HP) bt Niraj Kabra (Mah) 11-6, 11-4, 11-6

Avinash Yadav (Mah) bt Saurabh Kumar (UP) 11-8, 11-2, 11-7

Arin Khot (Mah) bt Manoviraj Singh (HR) 11-4 ,11-1 ,11-2

Ravi Dixit (SR)bt Aditya Rajpal (KA) 11-2, 11-1, 11-5

Deepak Tiwari (Mah) bt Cholarajan Nagaraj (TN) 11-7, 11-5 11-7

Akhilesh Kumar(CH) bt Manjunath N K (KA) 11-4,11-5,11-1

Sumit Kumar (DL)bt Vishwajit Kumar(BR) 11-0, 11-0, 11-1

Shankaran Parthiban (TN) bt Aishwry Verma (GJ)11-8,11-5,11-7

Shloke Sahay(Mah) bt Arun Sharma (Mah)11-3,13-11,11-5

Krishan Singh(JR) bt Miheer Prakash (Mah)11-7, 11-5, 7-11 15-13

Deepak Mandal (Mah)bt Gaurav Kumar (BR)11-5, 11-4, 11-1

Avinash Sahani (Mah)bt Nitish Kumar Yadav (UP)11-5, 11-5, 11-9

Dharmender Singh (Mah) bt Ravi Madabhushi (KA)11-5, 11-2, 11-6

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