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CHENNAI: A composed Harinderpal Singh Sandhu upset sulky second seed Muhd. Asyraf Azan of Malaysia in the opening round of the $15,000 Indian Challenger-PSA tournament on Wednesday.
Harinder matched his adversary’s erratic run-ins with the referee with consistent shot making skills and did not allow Asyraf’s antics to derail his gameplan.
The players split the first two games and began the third on a sour note as Asyraf began to question almost every other call by the umpire.
Refusing to budge out of Harinderpal’s way on several occasions, Asyraf tested everybody’s patience by taking extended breaks between points and flashing risque finger signs in the direction of the umpire.See-saw
The third game see-sawed to 9-9 before Harinderpal eased a slanting ball beyond Asyraf’s reach and then ’killed’ one on the rebound take the game 11-9.
The fourth game was a repeat of the third, in score as well as in action, as the Malaysian continued to pout and Harinder continued to hound him around the court.Easy for Ghosal
Bringing more cheer to India, top seed Saurav Ghosal ushered Malaysia’s Elvinn Keo out of the tournament with minimal effort.
Second seed Ritwik Bhattacharya required four games to get past Englishman Jaymie Haycocks. In other first round action, "the magician" Abdullah Almezayen of Kuwait ran out of tricks against sprightly seventh seed Siddharth Suchde to go down in four games.
Gaurav Nandrajog squandered two matchballs at 10-8 in the fifth game to lose to Austrian Aqueel Rehman in a grueling 68 minute encounter. Rehman faces off with Ritwik in the quarters on Thursday.
The results: First round: Saurav Ghosal (Ind) bt Elvinn Keo (Mas) 11-7, 11-7, 11-6; Max Lee (Hkg) bt Kamran Khan (Mas) 11-4, 9-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-7; Chris Simpson (Eng) bt Choong Kam Hing (Mas) 11-8, 11-3, 11-8; Siddharth Suchde (Ind) bt Abdullah Almezayen (Kuw) 12-10, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5; Harinderpal Sandhu (Ind) bt Muhd. Asryaf 11-8, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9; Dick Lau (Hkg) bt Naresh Kumar (Ind) 11-5, 6-11, 11-6, 11-8; Aqeel Rehman (Ind) bt Gaurav Nandrajog (Ind) 11-5, 10-12, 8-11, 11-4, 12-10; Ritwik Bhattacharya (Ind) bt Jaymie Haycocks (Eng) 10-12, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9.
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