Resilient Mahesh wins PSA World Tour event

India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar began the New Year the way he ended 2013 -- with title success on the PSA World Tour.

The Mumbai teenager claimed the first Tour title of the year when he despatched top-seeded Scot Greg Lobban in the final of the Open du Gard, the PSA Challenger 5 squash event marking its sixth year at Squash des Arenes here.

Third seed Mangaonkar made his breakthrough in the semifinals when he crushed second-seeded Kuwaiti Ammar Altamimi in just 28 minutes.

In the quarterfinals, Mahesh got the better of England’s Yousef Abdalla in a hard-fought 11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 11-5 victory.

Now in the fourth Tour final of his career, the 19-year-old had a point to prove when he faced Lobban, a 21-year-old from Edinburgh enjoying his eighth Tour final.
Mangaonkar’s success in last month’s Imet Open in Slovakia came after a five-game final victory over Lobban -- the result of which is that both players now share a World No 82 ranking.

Revenge looked on the cards when Lobban took the opening game, but Mangaonkar struck back to win the next three to claim his 9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-5 title triumph in 64 minutes.

 The win, his third on the PSA Tour, also set up a nine-match winning streak for the Indian -- the longest of his career.

Final: 3-Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind) bt 1-Greg Lobban (Sco) 9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-5.
Semifinals: Mahesh bt 2-Ammar Altamimi (Kuw) 11-9, 11-2, 11-0.
Quarterfinals: Mahesh bt Youssef Abdalla (Eng) 11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 11-5.

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