Seeded five, India didn’t exactly cover itself with glory as it huffed and puffed its way to reach the pre-quarterfinals with victories over lower-seeded opponents in the World junior boys’ team squash championships here on Tuesday.
After an easy 3-0 win over 23rd seed Saudi Arabia, India nearly lost the plot against Switzerland, seeded 12th, before going on to win 2-1 to top Group E.
Top seed Egypt and England, the third seed, also made the last 16.
Yash Fadte played out of his skin out to defeat Yannick Wilhelmi 11-8, 7-11, 5-11, 11-4, 11-9 in the third and decisive match to win the tie against Switzerland. After Utkarsh Baheti had put it across Campbell Wells with a measure of comfort, Veer Chotrani disappointed with a lacklustre display against Nils Roesch.
Yannick, who had lost to the eventual singles champion Mostafa Asal in the fourth round, wasn’t a neophyte.
He moved as well as Yash and found the right angles for winners.
After losing the third game, Yash brought out his A-game in the next two. He was confident and was consistently aggressive.
When Yash had four match-points at 10-6 in the fifth game, Yannick hit back, winning the next three points, before committing a backhand error.
“I lost my concentration in the second and third games. My coaches and friends told me that we shouldn’t go back without winning this. I couldn’t have done it without the support of the crowd,” said Yash.
The results: Group A: Egypt bt Singapore 3-0; bt Australia 3-0.
B: Canada bt Scotland 3-0; C: England bt South Africa 2-1; bt Ireland 3-0.
E: India bt Saudi Arabia 3-0 (Rahul Baitha bt Abdulelah Boureggah 11-1, 11-4, 11-2; Utkarsh Baheti bt Abdulmajeed Boureggah 11-2, 11-7, 11-5; Veer Chotrani bt Mohammad Almwled 12-10, 11-4, 11-8).
India bt Switzerland 2-1 (Baheti bt Campbell Wells 11-6, 6-11, 13-11, 11-9; Chotrani lost to Nils Roesch 11-9, 5-11, 3-11, 7-11; Fadte bt Yannick Wilhelmi 11-8, 7-11, 5-11, 11-4, 11-9)
India nearly lost the plot against Switzerland, before winning 2-1 to top Group E
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