Arjoon creates first upset
Alex Arjoon created the first upset in this year’s GT&T sponsored National Senior Squash Championships when he defeated former champion Robert Fernandes in a five-set thriller as quarter-final action heated up Wednesday evening in both the Men’s and Ladies’ Open categories.
Both players started strong with some exceptionally long rallies, but it was the in-form Arjoon who took control and closed out the first game. Fernandes found his range in the second stanza and executed some deceptive shots to good effect in the front court, wrong footing his opponent on several occasions to level the match.
The third set started evenly before a string of unforced errors by Arjoon allowed Fernandes to get to game ball at 10-7.
The threat of Fernandes going up 2-1 seemed to ignite Arjoon and he played two brilliant rallies to get to 9-10, before a desperate drop shot from the back of the court by a struggling Fernandes ended his comeback bid.
It seemed all over for Arjoon in the fourth when Fernandes got to within two points of ending the match after he took a 9-7 lead, but Arjoon once again played quality squash to reel off the next four point and tie the match at 2-2.
Fernandes found his second wind in the fifth and raced out to a 4-0 lead, before Arjoon slowly clawed his way back into the game. After numerous lengthy rallies the game was tied at 8-8, and that was where the young champion took over to finish the match with clinical efficiency to reach the semi-finals for the first time at this level.
He will face the tournament’s number one seed and overwhelming favourite Kristian Jeffrey, while the other semi-final will feature training partners Nicolette Fernandes and Regan Pollard who both dismissed their quarter-final opponents with relative ease.
The Ladies’ Open semi-finals will feature the top four seeds, with Fernandes down to oppose Kayla Jeffrey, while Ashley Khalil and Keisha Jeffrey will do battle in what is expected to be the most exciting match of the evening.
The semi-finals of the main draws will be contested this evening with the finals on Saturday evening.
Last night featured the quarter-finals of the consolation draws.
In full results:
Ladies’ Open quarter-finals
Nicolette Fernandes defeated Victoria Arjoon 11/3 11/4 11/3
Kayla Jeffrey defeated Chantelle Fernandes 11/5 11/4 11/6
Ashley Khalil defeated Mary Fung-A-Fat 11/8 8/11 11/9 15/13
Keisha Jeffrey defeated Daina King 11/1 11/3 11/3
Men’s Open quarter-finals
Kristian Jeffrey defeated Deje Dias 11/3 11/5 11/4
Alexander Arjoon defeated Robert Fernandes 11/6 6/11 9/11 11/9 11/8
Nicolette Fernandes defeated Jerazeno Bell 11/2 11/8 11/6
Regan Pollard defeated Raphael deGroot 11/9 11/8 11/7
Men’s Consolation First Round
Jason Ray Khalil received a walkover from Andy Goveia
Damian Fernandes defeated Steven Xavier 11/1 11/7 11/9
Javier Grau defeated Alex Gouveia 11/7 11/9 4/11 11/7
Nyron Joseph received a walkover from Nicholas Narain