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  • Top seed Manika and fourth seed Diya crash out of 84th UTT Inter-State Senior National Table Tennis Championships

Top seed Manika and fourth seed Diya crash out of 84th UTT Inter-State Senior National Table Tennis Championships

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Jammu: Top-seeded Manika Batra began the procession of seed fall in the women’s singles, and five others joined her in the 84th UTT Inter-State Senior National Table Tennis Championships here at the Gymnasium Hall of Jammu University.

It left only two women seeds in the fray, second seed Sreeja Akula of RBI and fifth seed Sutirtha Mukherjee of West Bengal. But, among the unseeded, Ayhika Mukherjee and Archana Kamath advanced to the semi-finals.

In the quarterfinals, all but one match went down to the wire and threatened to derail second seed Sreeja Akula’s plans of successfully defending the title. But she fought back to outwit her PSPB opponent, Yashaswini Ghorpade, 4-3. The other paddlers that stormed into the semi-finals included Sutirtha, Ayhika and Archana, all scoring easy wins.

Yashaswini dropped the first two games but recovered to lead 3-2. But the sixth game, in which Sreeja won 13-11, gave her the lifeline, and the RBI girl never looked back.

There were similarities between the Meghalaya and the Jammu Nationals in two big pre-quarterfinal upsets earlier in the day.

Manika Batra failed to cross this hurdle in Shillong last year and again here, going down to the same opponent, Ayhika, as did Diya Chitale, who lost to veteran Mouma Das. Ayhika beat Manika 4-3 the last time, but today, the margin was 4-2. And for Mouma, she conceded just one game (4-1) to three last year!

In four other upsets in women’s singles, last year’s semi-finalist and third seed Reeth Rishya bowed out to Poymantee Baisya of West Bengal 3-4, sixth, seventh and eighth seeds Anusha Kutumbale, Swastika Ghosh and Prapti Sen, respectively, went out of medal reckoning earlier than expected. However, Swastika made it to the pre-quarters before being sent packing 3-4.

Ayhika was in her zone and went 3-0 up quickly. The pressure was palpably on Manika, who failed to strike a rhythm. When she finally did and narrowed down the margin by 2-3, the spectators were in for a good fightback. But after leading 6-1 and 10-7, the top seed wilted and surrendered to the guiles of Ayhika.

Mouma piled on the agony of the teenager straightaway. Taking the first game cheaply, she looked to consolidate her position. However, Diya struck back and won the second game 12-10. Undeterred by the reverse, Mouma, with a bagful of tricks, used the flanks cleverly to confuse the youngster, who fell into the trap. Mouma quietly went from strength to strength, and the RBI girl’s efforts fell short of expectations. The last time in the same round in Shillong, Diya had given some torrid moments before bowing out.

Reeth Rishya, who lost in the semi-finals last year, failed to sustain the pace and skills needed to progress further. She was gusty to change track after trailing 1-3 and level 3-all. But in the decider, Poymantee Baisya proved a better opportunist to wrap it up. Swastika Ghosh, too, failed to consolidate her position after leading 3-2. She let Moumita Datta recover to level the score and take the decider.

In the men’s singles pre-quarters, Jeet Chandra became an early victim as the seventh seed bowed out, as did Payas Jain, SFR Snehit, Anthony Amalraj, Deepit R Patil, Yashansh Malik and Subh Goel. Soumyajit Ghosh pulled out after falling sick.

In the quarterfinals, top seed G. Sathiyan (4-2) survived a scare before overcoming a stiff challenge from Delhi’s Sudhanshu Grover to move into the semi-finals. Other seeds that joined him in the semi-finals included Manav Thakkar, Harmeet Desai and Manush Shah.


Women’s Singles: Quarterfinals: Ayhika Mukherjee (RBI) bt Moumita Datta (WB) 11-7, 10-12, 11-4, 11-6, 11-8; Sutirtha Mukherjee (WB) bt Mouma Das (PSPB) 11-9, 11-5, 11-5, 11-8; Archana Kamath (PSPB) bt Poymantee Baisya (WB) 11-7, 11-3, 12-10, 11-1; Sreeja Akula (RBI) bt Yashaswini Ghorpade (PSPB) 11-6, 11-6, 6-11, 6-11, 6-11, 13-11, 11-4.

Pre-quarterfinals: Ayhika Mukherjee bt Manika Batra (PSPB) 11-8, 11-8, 11-7, 3-11, 8-11, 11-7; Moumita Datta bt Swastika Ghosh (Mah) 6-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-5, 5-11, 11-6, 11-8; Sutirtha Mukherjee Ankita Das (PSPB) 11-5, 11-4, 11-3, 11-7; Mouma Das bt Diya Chitale )RBI) 11-7, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8; Poymantee Baisya (WB) bt Reeth Rishya (PSPB) 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8, 4-11, 8-11, 11-7; Archana Kamath bt Yashini Sivashankar (TN) 11-9, 11-9, 11-3, 11-7; Yashaswini Ghorpade (PSPB) bt Prapti Sen (WB) 11-9, 14-12, 11-9, 4-11, 13-11; Sreeja Akula (RBI) bt Divya Deshpande (PSPB) 11-6, 10-12, 11-9, 11-6, 3-11, 15-13.

Men’s Singles: Quarterfinals: G. Sathiyan (PSPB) bt Sudhanshu Grover (Del) 9-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-5, 4-11, 11-6; Manav Thakkar (PSPB) bt Ankur Bhattacharjee (WB) 10-12, 11-5, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6; Harmeet Desai (PSPB) bt Ronit Bhanja (RSPB) 7-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-8, 6-11, 11-3; Manush Shah (RBI) bt Sanil Shetty (PSPB) 11-4, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7.

Pre-quarterfinals: G. Sathiyan bt SFR Snehit (Telg) 11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10; Sudhanshu Grover bt Anthony Amalraj (PSPB) 11-4, 7-11, 14-12, 11-8, 12-10; Ankur Bhattacharjee bt Anirban Ghosh (RSPB) 7-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4; Manav Thakkar bt Raegan Albuquerque (Mah) 11-6, 11-6, 11-7, 11-2; Harmeet Desai bt Payas Jain (Del) 5-11, 10-12, 11-5, 11-4, 11-7, 11-3; Ronit Bhanja bt Jeet Chandra (WB) 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7; Sanil Shetty bt Abhimanyu Mitra (IA&AD) 11-7, 11-13, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7; Manush Shah bt Yashansh Mailk (Del) 11-7, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8.

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Manika, Sreeja move up with other seeds at 84th UTT Inter-State Senior National Table Tennis Championships


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