TT Update – Favourites ensure safety but it’s struggle for some

TABLE TENNIS FEDERATION OF INDIA

Date: 27th Sep 2016

TT Update – Favourites ensure safety but it’s struggle for some

Favourites ensure safety but some struggle for top spots

Indore, September 26: With only two rounds scheduled in men’s and women’s singles first stage matches on the opening day some of the top names in the women’s section, more or less, sealed their main draw places in the 11Even Sports National Ranking (Central Zone) Table Tennis Championships starts at the Abhay Prashal here today. However, a confirmation will come only
tomorrow.

In women’s singles, most players in the latter groups completed two rounds and their safe passage into the main draw will now depend on the last match as only the group topper moves up. West Bengal’s Manisha Mukherjee in group 32 scored two clear wins but had to struggle against Delhi’s Kritika Malik. Manisha won 13-11, 6-11, 11-7, 9-11, 12-10. With that loss, Kritika is tied in second position with Maharashtra’s Srushti Haleangadi who, like the Delhi girl, has 1-1 record and the match between the two is more of an academic interest only.

The others that had collected four points and are just a step away from qualification and they are Iti Sharma (HP), Harshavardhini (AAI), Sanya Sehgal (Har), Archana Kamath (AAI), Maria Rony (Kerala), Anuska Dutta (RSPB), Mansi Dshpande (Mah), Priyadarshini Das (WB), Sreeja Akula (AAI), Selenadeepthi Selvakumar (TN), Moumita Datta (WB), Ritika Kundu (NB), Takeme Sarkar (RSPB), Sukanya Bose (RSPB), Priti Mokashi (Mah), Saswati Ghosh (MP), Manushree Patil (Mah) and Ashlesha Trehan (RSPB). All these players have a third-round match tomorrow before the knockout phase begins.

Local girl Saswati Ghosh, who is making her maiden appearance for MP, made an impressive start beating Rutuja Khopkar of Maharashtra 7-11, 11-4, 11-4, 13-11 but found a big hurdle in West Bengal’s Mrittika Halder which the former had to cross. And the MP girl did that with a hard-fought 3-2 (7-11, 11-5, 4-11, 11-5, 11-6) to post two crucial wins. She has a match against No. 1 player in her group 21, Rupsa Bhattacharya of Railways, who is lying behind, having lost her second match to West Bengal rival Mrittika 2-3.

Similarly, the fight for top spot in group 22 will be between Sukanya Bose of Railways and Priti Mokashi of Maharashtra as they have two wins each and their direct showdown tomorrow will decide the group leader. Priti had a tough time against Riya Dutta of West Bengal before subduing her 11-7, 11-9, 12-14, 17-15, the last two games went into several deuces.

Three AAI girls—Selenadeepthi, Sreeja and Archana—held on to their top group positions so far but tomorrow can be a different day for both Moumita Datta from West Bengal and Selenadeepthi in group 24. But for Akula, who scored 3-1, 3-0 triumphs over Tanaya Dutta and Sumana Saha in group 25, and Archana, who defeated Koumudi Patankar of Karnataka 3-0 and got a walkover from Sangita Mahadani of West Bengal, the passage seems easy now.

But in the men’s singles, the group toppers are yet to play their second round matches for a clear picture to emerge in Stage 1. But indications are that there will hardly be any disappointment on this count as they are expected to go through, leaving the second spots to lesser players in their respective groups.

Meanwhile, the top eight ranked players—Suthirtha Mukherjee, who is sure to get the top seeding, Madhurika Patkar, Pooja Sahasrabuddhe, Mouma Das, Mousumi Paul, Shruti Amrute, Manika Batra and Krittwika Sinha Roy—have been given direct main draw entry will begin their campaign from tomorrow when the group qualifiers join them.

Even as the men and women players get a breather after two rounds, the Junior Boys will play a couple of rounds to wind up the day’s proceedings.

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