Squash Zone Open Junior Silver
The inaugural Squash Zone Open (Silver) was held over this past weekend at the new 5 court facility on Haven Ave in Redwood City. Led by Richard Elliott and his team – Elaine Friedland, Aisling Blake and McGee O’Neil – the newly opened facility welcomed in 103 players from all around the Bay area and beyond – Utah, Pittsburgh and LA included. The caliber of play was high throughout the weekend with many closely fought finals going down to the 5th game decider on the day.
In the Girls U-17 division Portia Pliam beat Ellyn Xu 11-8 in the 5th, and Eena Xu found success in the Girls U-15 division beating Aneesa Mustafa in the final in 4 games. Meanwhile Pliam came up against frequent training partner Sanjana Vissapragada in the Girls U-19 finals eventually losing out 11-8 in the 4th game. In the lower level age a round robin format was played out in the U-11 age group, Rachel Yun was the eventual winner by virtue of winning all her matches followed by Richa Patnam who came in second place. Richa did play in the Girls U-13 and performed well. However the spoils here went to Anushka Anand who came from 2-0 down in the final on the glass court to take the match 11-7 in the 5th against an in form Shriya Viswanathan. Consolation winners in the Girls U-13 and Girls U-15 were Jude Tantawy and Meera Ragagopal respectively – both playing with a tenacity to overcome their opponents in 5 games in their finals.
There were several sibling pairs competing in the draws – Aiden Yun, brother of Rachel, was the consolation winner of the Boys U-11, he had lost out in the 2nd round to eventual finalist Yash Moolchandani who was very happy to be playing on the glass court in his final. Faizaan Mustafa was a little too strong on the day however becoming Boys U-11 winner with a 3 game victory.
Another round robin was at play in the Boys U-13 and again, sibling force at work with Sachith Vissapragada (brother of U-19 winner Sanjana) winning all matches bar one – winner Seraph Yang took the spoils in this age group. Consolation winner Raj Bapat – the number 1 seed – was surprised in the 2nd round by unseeded Vaibhav Turaga who continued his form into the finals coming up against another intruder Ben Chen, who had dispatched Vaibhav’s brother in the quarter finals. Ben took the final in 3 games.
In the Boys U-17 category Roshan Gampala was too strong on the day for Sameer Mustafa who put up a great fight in the final. The Consolation winner was yet another brotherly affair with Bhavesha Sasikumar edging out his brother Bharadwaj in a nail-biting 5 game encounter.
Jack Huang went in as favourite in the Boys U-19 and didn’t disappoint, not dropping a game in the Round Robin. The runner up in this age group Jassem Khan from Pleasanton. Winners and runners up alike put on a great display of sportsmanship, tenacious fair play and resilience throughout the weekend. The Squash Zone team would like to thank all the participants and their parents for transporting them to and fro and hope to welcome you all back for the Summer Gold in June 22-24th.