World no. 10 Ghosal, who has won the title 10 times, and 14-time winner Joshna, ranked 19th globally, are seeded no. 1 in their respective sections.

The expected all-Chennai face-off between Joshna and second seed Dipika - who will play her first nationals since 2011 - in the final is among the main attractions in the six-day event at the Otters Club in suburban Bandra.

The championship, being held under the auspices of the Squash Rackets Federation of India, has attracted over 440 entries in nine categories.

"The nationals is an extremely prestigious event on the domestic calendar and I believe it is the responsibility of the top players to participate to showcase the best of Indian squash," said Ghosal in the run-up to the event.

The other significant players in the men's section include Ravi Dixit, the Mumbai quartet of second seed Mahesh Mangaonkar, Aryaman Adik of the host club, Vikram Malhotra and Veer Chotrani, Kush Kumar, Delhi's Gaurav Nandrajog and Tamil Nadu's Velavan Senthilkumar.

"I look forward to playing the nationals again," said Dipika, who won the title five years ago.

"I have enjoyed playing the nationals since I was 12 and it is one domestic tournament I look forward to in the year. It is something I have to be a part of every year," said Joshna.

“I had a lot of competition while playing the senior nationals early on in my career as a junior and winning it then was hard. Now, it will be even harder playing with Dipika," she added.

In a first, the prize money for the men and women's individual winners will be equal and both will receive Rs 1.25 lakh each. While the qualification rounds for men will be held from tomorrow, the main draw for all categories will get under way from July 14th.

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