Sunayna Kuruvilla (orange) won the semi-final match during the National Squash Championship at Amanora Mall in Pune.(Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)
Sunayna Kuruvilla (orange) won the semi-final match during the National Squash Championship at Amanora Mall in Pune.(Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)

Squash Nationals: Fourth seed Kuruvilla rallies from two games down to make it to final

Sunayna Kuruvilla won her semi-final match against Sanya Vats at the 76th Senior Squash Nationals held at Amanora Mall on Saturday by a 10-12, 5-11, 11-6,11-7, 11-7 scoreline
By Pranav Shahaney | Hindustan Times, Pune, Pune
UPDATED ON JUN 16, 2019 04:30 PM IST

A valiant Sunayna Kuruvilla battled her way out from being down and out after two games, to win her semi-final match against Sanya Vats at the 76th Senior Squash Nationals held at Amanora Mall on Saturday. The fourth seed won the contest by a 10-12, 5-11, 11-6,11-7, 11-7 scoreline to seal a spot in Sunday’s grand final.

Prior to the contest, Kuruvilla’s best performance at the nationals was one previous semi-final in 2015 when she ended up losing to Joshna Chinappa. Thus, with no previous experience of getting past this stage, it was imperative that she got over the mental block and defeat her 17-year-old opponent.

Unfortunately for her, things did not get off to the perfect start as she lost her first two games and it seemed like there was no way back in it for her. However, she managed to quickly get her act together and play the game in the best way she knows, which ended up turning the tide in her favour.

The 20-year-old seemed to hit fewer errors and instead of playing a defensive game, she played a number of drop shots to quickly take control of the tie. Vats, despite all her energy and ability to cover the entire court proved to be second best throughout the next three games and eventually ended up losing her grip on the contest and the opportunity to make it to her maiden final.

“It was a really tough game. Sanya’s a very good player and it’s always tricky to be playing a leftie. The entire week I’ve been scrambling to win, but I guess that’s what makes you the player you are. To continue no matter how your form is. I felt when I was 2-0 down I didn’t have a clear game plan. I did to an extent in the first, but she still managed to win the game. So, I just had to hold on and hope that my experience gets me through in the end,” said Sunayna.

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