Rohan Arya Gondi of Grade 7MYP, studying at Oakridge International School, Gachibowli has won the under-13 championship at the world’s most prestigious junior squash tournament, the US Junior Squash Open held in Boston on 18th December 2018. He sailed past USA No.3 Johan P. Hodgson 11-3, 11-5, 11-4 in the quarterfinals. He booked his place in the final by beating USA No. 1 Wenqing Tang 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 and played a tactically sound mid-game to outwit Pakistan’s H Ahmad in an evenly-fought five games at 11-4, 10-12, 12-10, 10-12, 11-9. The Jetlag, harsh weather and constant travel couldn’t distract him from winning the US Open crown.
With this remarkable achievement, Rohan has scripted another success story, both in two weeks time on the world stage by winning the runner-up title at the Canada Junior Squash Open held on 12 December 2018. He beats Segundo Portables of Argentina 3-0 in the second round after receiving a bye in the first round, beats Weihan Wang of Canada 3-0 in the pre-quarters, beats Juan Irizalli of Columbia 3-0 in the quarterfinals, also beats the top seed Jacob Marrison of Canada 3-1 in the semi-finals and lost to Egypt No. 1 Youssef Salem in 5 close games in the finals to come second in the tournament.
It all started for Rohan when he picked up a racket aged 4 and progressed through the junior rankings and has won six major titles in the under-11 and under-13 categories. Rohan who started participating in international competitions at the age of seven has won medals in many tournaments including Hong Kong Junior Squash Open, Malaysian Junior Squash Open, Singapore Junior Squash Open, and Qatar Junior Squash Open. However, the US Open was particularly difficult for him.
Squash is running in the genes of this student from Oakridge, one of the top international schools in Hyderabad with both his father (Ramesh) and sister (Amita) quite well-versed with the intricacies of the game. "I started playing squash because of my father and sister. Both of them play the game and that is how I started liking it. When my parents asked me about what sport I would like to play, I had no other choice. From then, my dad started training me. We all play together as a family," Rohan was quoted as saying in local media last year after his impressive stint on the local circuit where he won a hat-trick of titles - the Bengal Junior Open Squash Championship, HCL Junior squash Open Championship and the All India Chhattisgarh Open in Raipur.
Rohan is keen in looking for bigger things in future with squash though the sport is still in its infancy stage in the city. We hope for the same and wish him all the best for future endeavors.