TABLE TENNIS FEDERATION OF INDIA
Thane, October 19: Anthony Amalraj waited patiently till the final point to have the last laugh and celebrated in his own manner when he outsmarted G. Sathiyan 4-3 to win the men’s singles title in the Thane Mayor Cup 2015
National Ranking (West Zone) Table Tennis Championship, which concluded at the Dadoji Kondev Stadium here today. He also received the winner’s purse of Rs. 66,000.
Earlier, Mouma Das staged one of the finest comebacks against Manika Batra to claim the women’s singles crown. The win was worth Rs. 55,000.
After a long time, there were two finals that not only went down to the wire but had several edge-of-the-seat moments. Sathiyan had his chances, leading 2-0 but soon Amalraj leveled the score and from there he turned on
the heat on his PSPB rival never to look back.
The match saw fantastic rallies, speedy forehand and backhand winners and excellent returns from both players.
Just before that Mouma, down and out at 0-3, too did well to win the women’s final from a precarious position. Manika, who was guilty of squandering many opportunities, deservingly lost the match to veteran Mouma.
After winning the fourth game, Mouma bounced back to win two extended games and in the decider, as in other games, Manika led comfortably before succumbing to beautiful chops and powerful forehand shots of Mouma, who had fewer good winners. But Manika should take the sole blame for giving away several unnecessary points, once she switched on to the push-and-prod mode. It took her nowhere except conceding points after points which his rival accepted gleefully.
In contrast, the Youth finals were nothing but damp squibs as both Arjun Ghosh of West Bengal and Manika Batra of PSPB won hands down against their opponents, Sabhya Virmani of AAI and Moumita Datta of West Bengal,
The AAI lefthander, who normally known for putting up his best, looked off colour on the day and particularly when Arjun had hit the form of his life in the tournament. Without giving any breathing space the West Bengal paddler went 2-0 up before Sabhay managed to pull one off. However, he lacked in ferocity and guile which Arjun had carried all though and into the final.
Similarly, Moumita was simply no match to Manika. The PSPB girl, for a change, played some exhilarating shots which brooked no challenge from the West Bengal girl. Not once did she look comfortable—she was neither returning well nor executing her shots to perfection.
Except for the men’s singles semifinal between Amalraj and Karia, all other semifinals, including the women’s singles, proved to be a completely one-sided affair.
Sathiyan easily beat PSPB colleague Sudhanshu Grover 4-1 in the second men’s semifinal for another clash with Amalraj.
The women’s fare saw even worst performance coming from former national champion K. Shamini who did not have the heart to fight it out against another former champion Mouma Das. Mouma was up and l ed 2-1, the third of which she lost very badly. But it was no indication of Shamini’s comeback as Mouma did not waste any time to shut her out by taking the next two games.
Manika, too, disposed of her AAI opponent Ayhika Mukherjee with a love game verdict. Against the experience of Manika, Ayhiha turned out to be a novice despite being a highly potential player. Probably, nothing worked for her
today as Manika led all the way through for another final entry.
In Youth Boys semifinal, West Bengal’s Arjun Ghosh was in a zone of his own to send Central Zone winner Ravindra Kotiyan of Maharashtra 4-3. In a see-saw battle, Arjun displayed variety and pushed Kotiyan to the back
foot. Though the latter had to willpower to fight and level the score, he did not have the steam to overcome a rampaging Arjun in the decider.
In Youth Girls’ last-four stages, Reeth Rishya lost to West Bengal’s Moumita Datta 4-1 while Manika, facing Ayhika for the second time in the day, accounted for her in her semifinal match 4-1, the latter managing to take a game off the top seeded player. But Reeth, who had two successive title wins in the South and Central Zones, lost pathetically to Moumita whose game showed great improvement.
Final: Anthony Amalraj (PSPB) bt G. Sthiyan (PSPB) 4-3 (14-16, 11-13, 11-7, 11-7, 11-2, 8-11, 11-6);
Anthony Amalraj bt Devesh Karia (Guj) 4-3 (8-11, 11-5, 11-8, 7-11, 13-11, 6-11, 11-4, G.
Sathiyan bt Sudhanshu Grover (PSPB) 4-1 (11-4, 11-6, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9).
Mouma Das (PSPB) bt Manika Batra (PSPB) 4-3 (7-11, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-6, 12-10, 12-10;
Manika Batra bt Ayhika Mukherjee (AAI) 4-0 (11-7, 11-4, 11-4, 11-7), Mouma Das bt K. Shamini (PSPB) 4-1 (11-4, 11-5, 2-11, 11-7, 11-5).
Youth Boys Singles:
Arjun Ghosh (WB) bt Sabhya Virmani (AAI) 4-1 (11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-3, 11-4);
Arjun Ghosh bt Ravindra Kotiyan (Mah) 4-3 (11-7, 11-7, 5-11, 12-14, 11-2, 9-11, 11-5), Sabhay
Virmani bt Birdie Boro (PSPB) 4-3 (9-11, 12-10,13-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-13,
Youth Girls Singles:
Manika Batra (PSPB) bt Moumita Datta (WB) 4-0 (11-5, 11-8, 11-6, 11-4);
Moumita Datta bt Reeth Rishya (PSPB) 4-1 (11-7, 11-2, 10-12, 11-8, 13-11), Manika Batra bt Ayhika Mukherjee (AAI) 4-1 (11-7, 11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-8).