TTFI update – Jeho, Dia Sub-Junior champs
Siliguri, December 6: H. Jeho of PSPBA beat fellow academy player Chinmaya Somaiya 4-1 to list his maiden Sub-Junior Boys’ trophy, while Maharahtra’s Dia Chitale downed Delhi’s Vanshika Bhargava 4-3 for the Sub-Junior Girls crown in the 11Even Sports 78th Cadet and Sub-Junior Nationals which concluded at the SMC Stadium here today.
The fourth seeded Jeho, who lost in quarterfinals in the previous edition at Kolkata, ensured himself not just the trophy but also the prize money in what turned out to be a one-sided final of the nationals. After running into a 3-0 lead, Jeho had a complete control over the match despite losing the fourth on extended points. Chinmaya did win that game but was not convincing and it showed on his next which a confident Jeho won for his title.
After having had a mixed bag in zonal events, H. Jeho and second seed Chimaya Somaiya stamped their authority with conviction in the nationals. The PSPB Academy boys accounted for Delhi’s top-seed Payas Jain and third-seed Yashansh Malik, respectively. Both Sub-Junior semifinals were of the edge-of-the-seat variety, especially the one between an attacking Payas and a defensive Jeho, which saw three extended games.
Yesterday, Jeho joined hands with L. Alberto to beat the West Bengal duo of Tamal Ballav andAbir Roy 4-1 to claim the doubles title.
UNRUFFLED DIA WINS
In Sub-Junior Girls final, Dia Chitale led 3-1 until Vanshika unleashed her attack on her rival to level the score 3-3. In the decider, Vanshika seemed to have sewn it up with a 4-1 and then 7-5 led but the fighting Dia, egged on by the Maharashtra crowd which chanted her name relentlessly, seized the opportunity after she made it 7-7. From there, it was Dia all the way as she claimed the next four points, including one which hit the net cord, for the title in cool fashion.
Incidentally, Dia had combined with Swastika Ghosh to take the doubles trophy, too. The Maharashtra pair had beaten the North Bengal pair of Nikita Sarkar and Sataporni De 3-1
But until then it was anybody’s game or, for that matter, Dia’s because she had subdued a normally attacking Vanshika. With her excellent strokes and also the good use of flanks, the Maharashtra girl’s was able to score maximum winners. No doubt, some negatives points too came her way but it was purely because of Vanshika who was forced into playing false strokes. But once she steadied, the Delhi girl came into groove and cleverly slowed down the game which posed more problems to Dia, allowing the Delhi girl some respite. All her efforts came to naught when she fritted away the last four points despite leading 7-5.
Even in the semifinals, Vanshika dropped first two games against Vidhi Ameet Shah, the underdog who had an excellent run, before coming back. On the other hand, a confidence personified Dia beat state mate Swastika Ghosh rather easily.
Haryana’s Suhana Saini was fighting more often with her than the familiar rival in Tamil Nadu’s Kavyashree Baskar. Of course, the two had met four times each other—three times in the finals alone—this season with just one semifinal win by Suhana over Kavyashree.
Today, however, was a redemption time for the Haryana girl as she had the last laugh with a 4-2 verdict in the all-important nationals. She surged ahead with a 2-0 lead only to lose the initiative as Kavyashree fought back well to level the score. However, Suhana was not going to let the Tamil Nadu rival go up yet again and, despite losing the fourth extended game with two games point on, clinched the fifth game on second game point.
This was the turning point for Suhana who, with a psychological edge, shut out Kavyashree in the next game itself as she won by a long way. Indeed, it was disappointing to see a forlorn looking Kavyashree, who lost in last year’s quarterfinals at Kolkata, has had the best of season and yet could not cross one last hurdle—the national final!
Earlier in the semifinals, things went according to the scripts as Kavyashree Baskar and Suhana Saini entered the final, beating UP’s Ambika Gupta and West Bengal’s Prithoki Chakraborty. Ambika Gupta was the finalist at Kolkata nationals last year.
UP-TIME FOR DIVYANSH
Divyansh Srivastava may not have had a very good season despite making it to the quarterfinal, semifinal and final once each in five zonal events. But the boy from Uttar Pradesh did peak at the right time—he was a finalist at Aizawl—and it showed in the crucial final here when he lifted the Cadet Boys title beating Sujan Bharadwaj of Karnataka, also the first-time finalist, 4-3.
The match had all the trappings of a final and Divyansh had a 3-1 advantage. But he suddenly went into his shell, taking the defensive mould. It helped the Karnataka boy and exposing the chinks in Divyansh’s armoury, he levelled the score. But Sujan, too, was guilty of slowing down—he became too conscious—in the decider and it helped Divyansh gain ascendancy. He held on to the nerves at crucial stages and won by a minimal point for his first national crown.
But the biggest upset of the season and, more importantly, in the nationals was the loss suffered by the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds from Tamil Nadu—Preyesh Suresh Raj and Tharun Shanmugam. They were expected to meet in the Cadet Boys final but UP’s Divyansh Srivastava avenged his East Zone final loss at Aizawl to send the top-seed packing. Preyesh was tipped to win the national title here after his five zonal titles this season. Then in another surprise, Karnataka’s Sujan Bharadwaj mowed down Tharun Shanmugam to enter his first final.
Sub-Junior Boys: Final: H.Jeho (PSPBA) bt Chinmaya Somaiya (PSPBA) 11-8, 11-7, 11-7, 11-13, 11-9; Semifinals: H.Jeho bt Payas Jain (Del) 10-12, 12-10, 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 12-10, Chinmaya Somaiya bt Yashansh Malik (Del) 3-11, 11-9, 11-6, 10-12, 11-3, 11-8.
Quarterfinals: Preyesh Raj bt Aakash Jagadish 3-0, Divyansh Srivastava bt Rudhra Narayan Ghosh 3-2, Sujan Bharadwaj bt Jash Modi 3-0, Tharun Shanmugam bt Harsh Patel 3-0.
Doubles: Final: L. Alberto/H.Jeho (PSPBA) bt Tamal Ballav/Abir Roy (WB) 11-8, 6-11, 11-4, 11-8.
Sub-Junior Girls: Final: Dia Chitale (Mah) bt Vanshika Bhargava (Del) 14-12, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 5-11, 8-11, 11-7; Semifinals: Vanshika Bhargava bt Vidhi Ameet Shah (Mah) 6-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7, 11-6, Dia Chitale bt Swastika Ghosh (Mah) 11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-4.
Quarterfinals: Vidhi Ammeet Shah bt Kajol Ramjali 3-2, Vanshiki Bhargava bt Nikita Sarkar 3-2, Dia Chitale bt Tanisi Kirtani 3-0, Swastika Ghosh bt Gargee Goswami 3-2
Doubles: Final: Dia Chitale/Swastika Ghosh (Mah) bt Nikita Sarkar/Sataporni De 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7.
Cadet Boys: Final: Divyansh Srivastava bt Sujan Bharadwaj (Kar) 11-5, 11-5, 9-11, 13-15, 13-11, 11-8; Semifinals: Divyansh Srivastava bt Preyesh Suresh Raj (TN) 11-5, 11-5, 2-11, 8-11, 11-8, Sujan Bharadwaj bt Tharun Shanmugam (TN) 11-8, 3-11, 11-9, 11-9; Quarterfinals: Payas Jain bt Dhairya Parmar 3-0, H. Jeho bt Varun Shankar 3-1, Yashanshi Malik bt Mainak Das 3-1, Chinmaya Somaiya bt Jayabrata Bhattacharjee 3-2.
Cadet Girls: Final: Suhana Saini (Har) bt Kavyashree Baskar (TN) 11-5, 11-5, 9-11, 13-15, 13-11, 11-8; Semifinals: Kavyashree Baskar bt Ambika Gupta (UP) 11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 11-3, Suhana Saini bt Prithoki Chakraborti (WB) 11-8, 11-3, 5-11, 11-9; Quarterfinals: Kavyashree Baskar bt Pritha Vartikar 3-0, Ambika Gutpa bt Sucheta Prosad 3-1, Prithoki Chakraborti bt Manika Kesar 3-0, Suhana Saini bt Oishiki Joardar 3-2.