Anahat Singh from Delhi became the first Indian to win the US Junior Open Squash Championship that took place at the Arlen Spectre Centre in Philadelphia on December 22.
The 13-year-old defeated Jayda Marei of Egypt 11-9, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5 in the girl’s Under-15 category to clinch the prestigious title. Earlier, she beat US junior national champion Dixon Hill 11-8, 11-9, 11-5 in the semifinals.
More than 850 top juniors from 41 nations competed in the global squash tournament.
Anahat Singh creates history as she becomes the first Indian girl to win the US Junior Squash Open title. Congratulations and well done on your fantastic achievement 🏆👏👏 #VKF #ViratKohliFoundation #Squash pic.twitter.com/nqtLqSjPFp
— Virat Kohli Foundation (@vkfofficial) December 22, 2021
The teen prodigy—who has proved her talent not just in the US but also across Europe and Asia—has won two European superseries titles (the European Junior Squash Open and the DPD Dutch Junior Open in 2019). In December 2019, she won the Scottish Junior Open and reached the finals to clinch the silver at the British Junior Open. She has also won a bronze at the Asian Juniors and silver in the Malaysian Junior Open in 2018.
Anahat maintained her position as Asia’s No. 1 player in the girl’s Under-11 category for two years before moving to the Under-13 category.
She is currently the No. 1 in India, Asia and Europe in the girls Under-13 category and No. 4 in the Under-15 category.
She has won so far 40 national circuit titles including two-time national championships.
The teenager started her journey at the age of 6 by playing badminton and winning several tournaments in Delhi. Later, at the age of 8, she started playing squash and soon became No. 1 in the girls Under-11 category maintaining her ranking throughout.
A student of a British school in Chanakyapuri, Anahat has been mentored and trained by former national-level squash players Amjad Khan and Ashraf Hussein alongside her sister Amira Singh.
In an interview, Anahat said that her parents and her school teachers support her immensely and there isn’t much pressure when it comes to academics. “I aspire to become a World Champion in PSA and hopefully get a medal in the Olympics when squash gets an entry,” said Anahat in an interview with the online sports platform.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)