TN girls keep state’s flag flying
Chennai, August 14: Top-seeded Manav Thakkar of PSPB Academy showed no mercy to qualifier Jignesh Rahatwal as he disposed of the Maharashtra B boy 3-0 to move into the Junior Boys quarterfinals, but it was a real setback for the No. 1 seed Shruti Amrute of Maharashtra A, who bowed out to Shailu Noorbasha of Andhra Pradesh, losing 1-3 in the round of 32 at the ongoing National Ranking (South Zone) Table Tennis Championships here at the Jawaharlal Nehru multi-purpose Indoor Stadium.
But for this major upset, it was business as usual for the others. However, the good news for the hosts’ side was that four Tamil Nadu girls, including No. 2 seed Selenadeepthi Selvakumar entered the quarterfinals while only one boy, Ananth Devarajan, made the grade. He beat West Bengal’s Jeet Chandra 3-2 in a tough battle.
The earlier round, too, saw some upsetting results, including that of West Bengal’s Moumita Dutta, who lost to R. Harshavardhini. The Tamil Nadu girl won 3-0 against her Maharashtra rival Srushti Haleangadi in the pre-quarterfianals to join Abhinaya Ramesh and Yashini Sivakumar in the quarter finals. In fact, it was a good result for the hosts as six out of four have made progress from the main draw.
But while Delhi’s Srishti Gupta put up a good fight against AP’s Shailu Noorbasha, losing the match 2-3, Aanchal Malhotra, a very good prospect, could not face Abhinaya’s onslaught and surrendered meekly to 1-3 score. There were to good matches in the Junior Girls section, both going down to the wire. The Shailu-Srishti match saw fluctuating fortunes as they took the alternative game to keep their hopes alive. However, the AP girl got the crucial points when it mattered in the decider to sew it up.
As for the Selenadeepthi and Renuka Aswin tie, the Kerala girl levelled after being 9-8 to win the second game and also the third to go up 2-1. But egged on by the local crowd and with a game plan change, the No. 2 seed from Tamil Nadu showed presence of mind in the fourth to level. From there, it was smooth sailing despite some pressure showing on her face when she gave away a couple of points on match-point.
Similarly, two matches in the Junior Boys section stood out for their competitive nature. The first between Telangana’s Snehit Suravajjla and West Bengal’s Abhimanyu Mitra, too, had a pattern to it with the players taking alternative games. However, in the fourth when Abhimanyu made it 2-2, he surged ahead in the fifth to shut the shop close on his Telangana rival.
Tamil Nadu’s Ananth Devarajan had his nervy moments very early in the match when Jeet restored parity at 1-1. Still he did not drop guard and went 2-1 ahead only to lose the next game in extended points. But Ananth did not take any chance in the decider and went about the task very methodically to shut his West Bengal opponent rather comfortably.
Meanwhile, the qualification matches in the Youth Boys and Girls sections got over and it is time for some hot performances as the men and women seeds jump into the fray from the second round of the main draw tomorrow.
However, the focus will once again be who win the Junior Boys and Girls titles.
*Results*:*Junior Boys*: *PQF*: Ronit Bhanja (WB) bt Abhinav Belwal (UP) 11-9, 11-9, 11-4, Manav Thakkar (PSPBA) bt Jignesh Rahatwal (Mhr-B) 11-2, 11-2, 11-6, Anirban Ghosh (WB) bt Shaurya Pednekar (Mhr-A) 11-7, 11-9, 11-4, Abhimanyu Mitra (WB) bt Snehit Suravajjula (Telg) 8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-5, 11-7, Shreyan Kulkarni (KNT) bt Aniruddha Marathe (Mhr-B) 11-7, 11-6, 11-6, Ananth Devarajan (TN) bt Jeet Chandra (WB) 11-5, 5-11, 11-5, 11-13, 11-3, Siddhesh Pande (Mhr-A) bt Parth Virmani (Dli) 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6, Sarthak Seth (UP) bt Ali Mohammad (Telg) 11-6, 11-5, 11-9. *Junior Girls*: *PQF*: Shailu Noorbasha (AP) bt Sristhi Gupta (Dli) 11-3, 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, Priyanka Pareek (Raj) bt Surbhi Patwari (WB) 7-11,11-6, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9, Abhinaya Ramesh (TN) bt Aanchal Malhotra (Dli) 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9, R. Harshavardhini (TN) bt Srushti Haleangadi (Mhr-A) 12-10, 11-9, 11-5, Archana Kamath (AAI) bt Kowishika Venkatashan(TN) 11-9, 11-7, 11-2, Yashini Sivashankar (TN) bt Sumana Saha (PSPB) 8-11,11-7, 11-5, 11-6, Tanisi Kirtani (Goa) bt Kokila Sureshkumar (TN) 11-9,9-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-5, Selenadeepthi Selvakumar (TN) bt Renuka Aswani(KRL) 11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7.