Having been off the circuit for a few years, Aditya Jagtap marks his return with three successive trophies on Monday.
The city’s promising squash player Aditya Jagtap added another trophy to his name on Monday at the JVPG SYSKA Open Squash Tournament. The smasher has been dominating the local tournaments for a year, with this being his third successive championship after Otters Club Open and Maharashtra State Open.
Aditya defeated Abhishek Pradhan, who is another promising squash player from Mumbai in straight sets with a score of 3-0 (11-7, 11-7, 11-7) The 25-year-old was off the Indian circuit for four years while he was studying in the US practising squash side-by-side. He has definitely made a mark on his return to the squash courts of Mumbai.
The right-hander has devoted his time to squash after he quit his job recently. Aditya is trained by Amit Chinai in Mumbai and David Palmer when he is in the States. “Since I have returned to India, it took me time to assess the play here and match the style of play of other players. It feels good to win at home and especially Mumbai, where I have spent most of my years,” says the champion.
Before moving back to Mumbai recently, Aditya completed his college from America and his high school in England. “Being away from home taught me many things and squash would be on top of the list. There is high competition over there, which gives you a great chance to develop,” he says.
At the age of 16, Aditya confidently made up his mind to get into pro squash but an injury named Plantar Fasciitis — an inflammation of a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes — took him out of the game for 6-8 months. “That was the time when I realised that injuries can happen in the future and I should continue with my education to keep a back-up. I have seen many sportspersons losing their career over injuries and similarly, my injury came as a wakeup call to me and then I decided to keep studying. But I did not stop playing,” recalls Aditya, who is working hard day in and day out to become the top player of India.
He trains at the Cricket Club of India (CCI), Churchgate where he follows a rigorous training regime of 5-6 hours. “My trainer Neville Wadia has planned a painstaking regime for me, my fitness has become much better,” he says.
On Monday, he crossed paths with his friend Pradhan yet again to put up a strong display of power and technique. Both lads were a part of the Indian Junior Squash teams and left Mumbai to study abroad at around the same time. Now, they train together at CCI. “It is a healthy rivalry between us. I played him in the Maharashtra Open finals as well. I hope that both of us meet in the finals of an international event soon.”
Heading back to America tonight, Aditya is working hard to mark his comeback on the international stage at the JSW Indian Squash Circuit CCI International 2017. The tournament features the likes of Fares Dessouky, B Golan, Saurav Ghoshal and many other top players.
On being asked about his goals for the coming years, he replies, “I am keen on making it to the top 100-150 of the World and I am training hard for it. I was off the circuit for quite a long time, so I need some confidence and playtime to reach the heights.”
Results (All finals):
Men’s Open: Aditya Jagtap bt Abhishek Pradhan 11-7, 11-7, 11-7.
Mixed U-9: Purav Rambhia bt Ishaan Dabke 11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5.
Girls U-13: Aaryaa Belsare bt Tanya Bafna 11-2, 11-2, 11-0.
Boys U-11: Arjun Somani bt Vedant Chheda 11-3, 11-7, 11-3.
Boys U-13: Arjun Somani bt Ranbir Minocha 11-5, 11-4, 12-10.
Boys U-17: Avinash Yadav bt Ahaan Bhansali 11-4, 11-3, 11-5.
Boys U-23: Sandeep Paswan bt Anshul Goyal 5-11, 11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8.
Men’s O-35: Manish Chotrani bt Amitpal Singh Kohli 11-7, 7-11, 11-4, 12-14, 11-8.
Doubles Open: Abhishek Agarwal/Abhishek Pradhan bt Rahul Baitha/Sandeep Jangra 11-9, 9-11, 11-5.
Doubles Handicap: Virendra Pawar/Anshul Goyal bt Simerjit Singh/Amitpal Kohli 11-9, 6-11, 11-5.