Top seed Ritwik Bhattacharya of Delhi dethroned defending champion Saurav Ghosal of Tamil Nadu to regain the men's crown, while Joshna Chinappa of Tamil Nadu retained the women's title, in the 53rd Senior National and 30th Bombay Gymkhana Maharashtra State Open Squash Championships 2005 that concluded at the Bombay Gymkhana on Friday.
Bhattacharya, winner in 2003, brushed aside the loss of the second game to cruise to a convincing 9-3, 3-9, 9-4, 9-5 victory in a quality championship round that involved the country's best exponents.
The formidable Ghosal, seeded No. 2, struggled to keep his hopes alive against an opponent who was enjoying a good season and is on a roll. Bhattacharya, who recently beat Ghosal in the quarter-finals in the Athens Open, was supremely confident and always in command. He played to a plan and executed it to perfection.
"I am certainly enjoying my squash. I think playing the CCI-Western India Open last week was a nice way to warm up for the big occasion," revealed a delighted Bhattacharya, ranked No. 59 in the world.
"Of course, it wasn't easy. Saurav is a good player and he did well today. But I played a tactically good game, though I shouldn't have committed the errors I made especially when I was in complete control.
"But it is always good to compete with quality players like Saurav. He's the next strong player and it's good for India," Bhattacharya added.
World junior No. 2 Chinappa continued her domination of the sport as she crushed second seed Deepali Anwekar-Parikh of Maharashtra, winning 9-4, 9-0, 9-2 to clinch the women's crown for the successive year for a tally of five national titles.
In one of the most exciting finals in the Maharashtra State Open, second seed A. Parthiban of Tamil Nadu upset top seed Sandeep Jangra of Maharashtra 9-7, 8-10, 9-3, 5-9, 9-6 in an 85-minute thriller to clinch the boys' under-19 crown.
Sachika Balwani of Maharashtra experienced mixed fortunes following her victory in the girls' under-15 final and defeat in the under-13 final.
As the under-15 second seed, Balwani overcame unseeded Saumya Karki 9-1, 4-9, 9-2, 9-7 in a keen contest, but No. 2 Ankita Sharma denied top seed Balwani a double when she powered her way to a shock 9-6, 10-8, 9-5 victory in the under-13 championship round.
Balwani's effort was overshadowed by boys' under-13 second seed Mahesh Mangaonkar's pulsating 6-9, 2-9, 9-3, 9-2, 9-7 triumph over arch-rival and top seed Abhishek Pradhan, who frittered away a 2-0 lead.
The championship was co-sponsored by Westside, Lee, ICICI Lombard, Godrej and Lipton.
Results (All finals):
Men: Ritwik Bhattacharya (Del) bt Saurav Ghosal (TN) 9-3, 3-9, 9-4, 9-5.
Women: Joshna Chinappa (TN) bt Deepali Anwekar-Parikh (Mah) 9-4, 9-0, 9-2.
Maharashtra State Open:
Boys' U-19: A. Parthiban (TN) bt Sandeep Jangra (Mah) 9-7, 8-10, 9-3, 5-9, 9-6.
Boys' U-17: Harinderpal Singh (TN) bt Vikram Malhotra (Mah) 8-10, 9-0, 9-1, 10-9.
Boys' U-15: Ravi Dixit (Del) bt Amay Merchant (Mah) 9-7, 9-5, 9-4.
Boys' U-13: Mahesh Mangaonkar (Mah) bt Abhishek Pradhan 6-9, 2-9, 9-3, 9-2, 9-7.
Boys' U-11: Ishaan Advani (Mah) bt Arjun Kochhar (Mah) 9-5, 9-4, 1-9, 9-7.
Boys' U-9: Kunj Rawani (Mah) bt Aditya Khatri (Mah) 4-9, 9-4, 9-6, 6-9, 9-4.
Girls' U-19: Anwesha Reddy (TN) bt Madhura Paranjpe (Mah) 9-4, 9-1, 9-4.
Girls' U-17: Surbhi Misra (Raj) bt Shivangi Paranjpe (Mah) 9-7, 4-9, 9-5, 9-5.
Girls' U-15: Sachika Balwani (Mah) bt Saumya Karki (Mah) 9-1, 4-9, 9-2, 9-7.
Girls' U-13: Ankita Sharma (Mah) bt Sachika Balwani (Mah) 9-6, 10-8, 9-5.
Girls' U-11: Lakshaya Raghavan (TN) bt Aishwarya Kulkarni (Mah) 9-4, 8-10, 9-0, 9-5.