Varshaa reaping dividends of focus on fitness

CHENNAI: Varshaa Sanjeev and Anupama Ramachandran won their respective semifinals on Friday, the penultimate day of the Mylapore Club all-India invitation ladies snooker tournament.In the first semifinal, Varshaa outsmarted Keerthana Pandian. The reigning national champion was in imperious form, combining substantial breaks with safety play, and not allowing Keerthana to get going. Varshaa won 76 (38)-15, 60-38, 64 (31)-15. “Feels really good to be in the final.

Anupama Ramachandran in action
against Ishika Shah | d Sampathkumar

Happy with my performance,” said Varshaa. “Although there were interesting matches in the earlier rounds, the semifinal was a bit tough. Keerthana is a good player. I could not take the match lightly. I had to be at my best and not lose focus.” Despite being one of the top players in the country, Varshaa believes that the learning process never stops, and insists that there is no substitute for match-practice.

“It gives a lot of knowledge and experience. Every match teaches me something new. It helps me analyse and play better. I never take my opponent lightly.”Despite snooker not being a physically-intense sport, Varshaa underscores the importance of fitness, especially in terms of players being their best at the table.

“It is really important, since we play in a very odd position. I do a lot of neck exercises and walk 3km everyday in the morning. I also do a lot of stretching exercises to keep my back in shape. My current snooker coach is Sanjay Sawant. With the form I have shown in the  tournament, I think I have a good chance of winning the final. I’ll give my best shot to win it.”In the other semifinal, Anupama put up a sterling display of attacking snooker against Ishika Shah. She won 60-33, 56-54, 61-47.