TABLE TENNIS FEDERATION OF INDIA
Juniors Siddesh, Archana crownedat India Open
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Indore, September 12: The new-found confidence helped Siddesh Pande outwit top-ranked Manav Thakkar 4-2 in the Junior Boys singles final, thus denying the latter a double-gold treat in the 11Even Sports 2015 India Junior and Cadet Open Table Tennis Championships at the Abhay Prashal here today. Archana Kamath Giri, despite a threat, held on to win the Junior Girls crown when she beat Serala Jacob 4-3.
The Surat boy, who also holds both the national titles, had to be satisfied with the Cadet Boys title. Earlier, Manav had lost the Junior Boys doubles which the Saudi pair claimed.
Manav, leading 2-0, lost his cool and Siddesh making most of the situation made one of the finest comebacks in a final to make the contest a one-sided affair. Siddesh, using the flanks well, executed measures shots which brooked no challenge from the national champion. The sixth game exemplified the domination by Siddesh who led throughout. In fact, Manav got his first point, courtesy a service fault by his opponent. After that he could earn only two more points before Siddesh shutting him out with a lucky point as
the ball hit the net to stay in.
Junior national champion Archana Kamath had to really fight to survive as Seraha Jacob, with excellent backhand execution, matched stroke for stroke in the final. When Archana went 3-2 up, it looked as if the title was just a few points away as she had run up a 5-0 lead in the sixth game. But credit must go to Seraha who, despite being at disadvantage, made it 5-5 and then, for the first time, went 8-7 up. From there, she could not be stopped and the match went into the last game.
In the decider, Archana led 3-0, but Seraha was not the one to give up easily. She fought and fought well to put some suspicion into her rival’s mind when she made it 8-all. Couple of Seraha’s shot hit the net and Archana, seizing the opportunity, wound up quickly with some good forehands to the relief of her parents in the gallery.
But it was a fitting final with both players attacked and the match had several good, long rallies and witnessed wonderful placing from Seraha. If she only had a good forehand, matching with that of her backhand, the title was Seraha’s.
Manav, Prapti win
Both Manav Thakkar and Prapti Sen, who claimed the Cadet crowns, would not have expected such easy finals as their opponents hardly made the winners sweat. The flow was perfect for both, though Shaurya Pednekar manage to extend Manav a bit in the third game of the final. However, Manav won on his second championship-point when Shaurya returned Manav’s service for the second time to send the ball sailing over with a perfect kill.
Seraha upsets Akula
Earlier, top-ranked Sreeja Akula was sent packing by No. 3 ranked Seraha Jacob in Junior Girls semifinals. Seraha, who was on a very good touch, outwitted Sreeja, who just about managed to win a game in the best-of-seven match. Seraha, who also won the doubles with state mate Maria Rony in the morning against Archana-Priyanka combine, continued her form unleashing an onslaught on Sreeja straightaway to run up with a 2-0 lead. The third game went Sreeja’s way but she could not come to terms with Seraha’s excellent
service and wonderful forehand play.
In Cadet Girls, Srushti Haleangadi could not repeat yesterday’s form and went down to Prapti Sen in the semifinals. Prapti made most of her opponent’s error-prone game to move up.
In Junior Boys double, Ali Alkhadrawi and Abdulaziz Shulaybi from Saudi Arabia beat the stuffing out of Indian pair Sanish Ambekar and Ravindra Kotiyan, avenging their defeat in team final on the second day. The Saudi duo had complete control and covered the flanks and angles well to outsmart the Indians. This win fetched them their first gold while they already have a team silver. Incidentally, these were the only two medals that went the visitors’ way in what was a complete Indian sweep of medals across all sections.
Prapti Sen bt Surbhi Patwari 11-7, 11-9, 11-9;
Prapti Sen bt Srushti Haleangadi 13-15, 11-4, 11-8, 11-8,
Surbhi Patwari bt Yashini Sivasankar 11-7, 1-11, 11-4, 7-11, 11-9.
Junior Boys: Final:
Siddesh Pande bt Manav Thakkar 4-11, 11-13, 11-5,
11-8, 11-7, 11-3;
Siddesh Pande bt Ravindra Kotiyan 11-6, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9, Manav Thakkar bt Lalrin Puia 11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 12-14, 3-11, 11-9, 13-11.
Ali Alkhadrawi/Abdulaziz Shulaybi (KSA) bt Sanish Ambekar/Ravindra Kotiyan 11-7, 11-9, 11-4.
Junior Girls: Final:
Archana Kamath bt Seraha Jacob 10-12, 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8;
Archana Kamath bt Priyanka Pareek 11-4, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6, Sereha Jacob bt Sreeja Akula 15-13, 11-9, 5-11,11-6, 11-8.
Seraha Jacob/Maria Rony bt Archana Kamath/Riti Shankar 14-12, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9.
(Nationality mentioned where not Indian)