National Table Tennis: Manika, Manav stunned; Sreeja, Sharath survive

National Table Tennis: Manika, Manav stunned; Sreeja, Sharath survive

This season, the fastest way to get noticed in domestic table tennis is to beat Manika Batra.

After Ayhika Mukherjee, Diya Chitale and Moumita Dutta took turns to beat Manika in straight games in the Inter-institutional tournament at Visakhapatnam in August, Haryana’s Bengal-import Prithoki Chakraborty took out the top seed on a day of upsets in the National table tennis championship here on Thursday.

On a day when men’s second seed Manav Thakkar, sixth seed Sanil Shetty and seventh seed S. F. R. Snehit failed to take their allotted spots in the quarterfinals, fourth seed and 10-time winner Sharath Kamal bounced back from 6-8 in the decider against young Yashansh Malik.

In women singles, Moumita Dutta, Yashaswini Ghorpade, Sutirtha Mukherjee, seeded five, six and seven, fell short of the quarterfinals. But Manika’s exit overshadowed everything else.

RELATED | TTFI bends over backwards to accept Manika Batra’s last-minute entry, gives her top billing

Though Prithoki – pivotal in Haryana’s reaching the National Games final last month at Panaji – lost to Gujarat’s Radhapriya Goyal after squandering four match-points in the pre-quarterfinals, she remained the newsmaker of the day. Her 11-7, 4-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-8 second-round triumph over Manika in 33 minutes remained the talking point.

After saving two match-points, Manika succumbed when her forehand drive caught the net-chord and sailed out.

In fact, Prithoki came within four points of victory in the fourth game but a time-out from Manika did the trick for the two-time champion. In the decider, Prithoki broke away from 5-5 to lead 8-5 and 10-6. After squandering two nervy points, Prithoki forced the decisive error from Manika, winner here in February 2021.

The match witnessed a series of backhand returns – counters and jabs – with Prithoki showing more control over her blocks. Manika, too, had her moments in the second game but overall, she could never really get going.

Defending champion and second seed Sreeja Akula almost joined Manika on the casualty list before making dramatic comebacks in successive rounds.

Down 8-11, 5-11, 3-8 against Tamil Nadu’s Nithyashree Mani, Sreeja found a new gear from 5-9 to lead 10-9. Though a nervous Nithyashree managed to save the game-point, Sreeja took it at 12-10 and added the next two 11-4, 11-5. Later, against Delhi’s Lakshita Narang, Sreeja again lost the first two games before coming out stronger.

Meanwhile, in a thrilling battle of generations – 40-year-old former National champion Mouma Das and a hugely-talented 14-year-old Syndrela Das – experience had the final say.

Mouma, 10-5 ahead in the decider, was surprised when the youngster not only drew level but also held two match-points. But on the big points, Mouma’s experience came to the fore and gave her a 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 10-12, 15-13 victory.

The results:

Men singles (pre-quarterfinals): 1-Harmeet Desai (Pet) bt 16-Sourav Saha (Ben) 11-7, 11-6, 11-7; 8-Jeet Chandra (AAI) bt 9-A. Amalraj (Pet) 6-11, 11-5, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7; 5-Manush Shah (RBI) bt 12-Ronit Bhanja (Rlys) 4-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7; 4-Sharath Kamal (Pet) bt Yashansh Malik (Del) 12-10, 5-11, 11-3, 4-11, 11-9; 3-G. Sathiyan (Pet) bt 14-Payas Jain (Del) 13-11, 11-8, 12-10; 11-Akash Pal (Rlys) bt 6-Sanil Shetty (Pet) 11-7, 5-11, 5-11, 14-12, 12-10; 10-Ankur Bhattacharjee (Ben) bt 7-S. F. R. Snehit (AAI) 6-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8; 15-Anirban Ghosh (Rlys) bt 2-Manav Thakkar (Pet) 11-6, 9-11, 11-3, 6-11, 11-5; (third round): Yashansh Malik (Del) bt 13-Sudhanshu Grover (Del) 11-5, 9-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9.

Women singles (pre-quarterfinals): 16-Pritha Vartikar (Mah) bt Radhapriya Goel (Guj) 11-5, 13-11, 11-4; 8-Diya Chitale (RBI) bt 9-Anusha Kutumbvale (Rlys) 8-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-6; Suhana Saini (Har) bt 12-Mouma Das (Pet) 11-8, 6-11, 11-4, 11-9; 4-Ayhika Mukherjee (RBI) bt 13-Yashini Sivashankar (TN) 11-6, 11-9, 11-9; 3-Archana Kamath (Pet) bt Takeme Sarkar (Rlys) 6-11, 13-11, 11-8, 11-9; 11-Poymantee Baisya (Rlys) bt 6-Yashaswini Ghorpade (Kar) 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-6; 10-Sayali Wani (Mah) bt Prapti Sen (Ben) 11-5, 11-5, 11-6; 2-Sreeja Akula (RBI) bt 15-Lakshita Narang (Del) 9-11, 12-14, 11-3, 11-9, 11-5 ; (third round): Radhapriya Goel (Guj) bt Prithoki Chakraborty (Har) 11-8, 10-12, 4-11, 11-9, 15-13; Suhana Saini (Har) bt 5-Moumita Dutta (Rlys) 11-4, 11-7, 11-2; 12-Mouma Das (Pet) bt Syndrela Das (Ben) 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 10-12, 15-13; 13-Yashini Sivashankar (TN) bt Shamini Kumaresan (Pet) 11-7, 10-12, 11-6, 11-13, 11-8; Takeme Sarkar (Rlys) bt 14-Swastika Ghosh (AAI) 6-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-5; Prapti Sen (Ben) bt 7-Sutirtha Mukherjee (Rlys) 11-9, 7-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7; (second round): Prithoki Chakraborty bt Manika Batra (Pet) 11-7, 4-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-8.

Source link


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *