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Aditya retains title

- Mehta wards off Chawla’s late surge to win 6-2

Calcutta: India pro Aditya Mehta showed his class as he warded off a late challenge from Kamal Chawla to retain the Kolkata Open Invitation Snooker Championship title, at the Hindusthan Club, on Sunday. Mehta won by 6-2 frames (71-08, 53-24, 90-00, 71-24, 12-83, 05-87, 74-48, 66-51).

Chawla had won against Mehta in the group league stage but the final was a different battle altogether.

Mehta began well racing to a 4-0 lead at the end of the first session. Chawla, however, came back strongly in the second session to win the next two frames. A break of 65 helped Chawla prevail 83-12 in the fifth frame. The next frame saw Chawla maintain his form as he recorded breaks of 28 and 39 to pull it off 87-5.

Mehta regained his touch in the seventh frame with a break of 54. His fine shots didn’t allow Chawla to make a comeback.

In the final frame, Mehta seemed determined to pull it off. It was a neck-and-neck affair but Mehta’s experience and positioning saw him through.

Mehta struggled a bit after making an initial break of 31 but Chawla failed to capitalise and fumbled after making 34 points. After that, both players faced difficult shots before Aditya got a breakthrough and surpassed Chawla to seal the match 6-2 and defend his title successfully.

“It’s a great victory,” said Mehta. “Chawla is a fantastic player… I knew he would come back stronger after the first session. I had to do something special to stop his comeback.

“I started off well… He was a bit jittery and that happens sometimes… You’ve got to hold your nerves in such situations. Overall, I’m satisfied with my performance,” explained Mehta.

He said there weren’t any special preparations going into the final after the group league loss to Chawla.

“I’ve played Chawla a 100 times and it happens. He’s one of the best and so you’ve to be on your toes against him.”

Chawla said he didn’t sleep well Saturday night and blamed that as one of the reasons for his lacklustre showing in the first session.

“I didn’t sleep well last night… I’ve had an eye surgery recently and that was also creating problems. During the break, after the first session, I slept for sometime and that sort of revived my form… My best performance was against Brijesh Damani in the semis.”

City police commissioner Surajit Kar Purkayastha gave away the prizes.