Velavan Senthilkumar Advances to Pittsburgh Open Squash Quarterfinals with Thrilling Win

Indian squash sensation Velavan Senthilkumar expresses excitement after reaching the quarterfinals of the Pittsburgh Open. The National champion, enjoying his first PSA outing of the year.

In a thrilling encounter at the Pittsburgh Open squash, reigning National champion Velavan Senthilkumar secured a spot in the quarterfinals with a remarkable 11-6, 5-11, 11-5, 11-8 victory over the home favorite and No.8 seed Faraz Khan. This marks the 25-year-old Tamil Nadu player’s first PSA outing of the year, entering the prestigious USD 75,800 PSA World Tour Silver event after an impressive 2023 season where he clinched four PSA titles in his debut year as a professional.

Senthilkumar dominated the early stages, clinching the first game with an 11-6 win. However, Faraz Khan displayed resilience, leveling the match at 1-1 with an impressive second-game victory. Undeterred, the Indian ace stormed to a 10-5 lead in the third game, ultimately taking a one-game lead toward his maiden Silver-event quarterfinal.

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Although Khan took an initial lead in the fourth game with a 6-1 advantage, Senthilkumar showcased his skill, playing quick and accurate squash to level the game at 8-8. The Indian’s late resurgence continued, and he secured the fourth game 11-8, winning the match with a mistake from Khan on the match ball.

Expressing his sentiments, Senthilkumar stated, “It was really good. First of all, Faraz is a really good player. I’ve seen him play recently and he’s been having some really good results so going into the match I was a bit nervous, but at the same time excited to be here competing. I was just there, enjoying my squash and enjoying myself.”

The Indian star now sets his sights on the quarterfinals, where he will face Egyptian world No. 21 Youssef Ibrahim. Reflecting on his achievement, Senthilkumar expressed, “I’m really happy, it’s something that I’ve always pushed for, and I’m always going to keep pushing for it as much as I can. I’m excited to have this opportunity, I’m really happy to be here, and compete another day, and playing (Youssef Ibrahim) is going to be fun, and I’m looking forward to it.”

In the opening round, Senthilkumar defeated Japanese Ryunosuke Tsukue with a score of 11-2, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8.

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