Former champions Roy, Saha surrender meekly


TTFI 17th Oct
Thane, October 17: Former national champions Soumyadeep Roy and Subhajit Shah bowed out of the men’s singles event of the ongoing Thane Mayor Cup 2015 National Ranking (West Zone) Table Tennis Championship here at the
Dadoji Kondev Stadium today.

It was pathetic to see both the veterans surrendering meekly as the main draw events got underway today. Youth Boys champion Ravindra Kotiyan of Maharashtra disposed of Roy in less than 45 minutes, winning the match in
straight games of 11-8, 11-6, 11-7, 17-15, while Saha gave a walkover to Maharashtra Aniruddha Marathe in the second round of the group qualifiers. But the qualifier could not, however, benefit and exited in the third round
without making it to the main draw.

Kotiyan, who has made bigger strides ever since his winning the Junior Boys title at Alleppey, was not just fast and furious but played brilliant forehands and complimented the experienced Roy with stroke for strokes. The
Maharashtra boy’s service variations, too, had Roy in utter confusion as he was unable to return at times and found the net more often than not.

After taking a comfortable 3-0 lead, the match was almost in Kotiyan’s bag but the never-say-die attitude of Roy brought out the best in the fourth and he fought really well. Yet, the fight came too late in the day for the
former national champion as Kotiyan won 17-5 to send his rival packing in the first round itself.

As for Saha, he had all the chance to make a comeback in the group match. But, trailing 0-2 and precariously placed in the third preferred not to fight and instead opted out. The veteran should have prolonged to put up a
fight for Aniruddha was struggling in the third game. What was also sad was that Aniruddha could not make most of the chance and lost to Harsh Sachanandani of Gujarat 3-2 which helped the latter enter the stage two of the singles event.

Meanwhile, all the top men seeds were sitting pretty and awaiting their turn for the second round matches which are slated to begin at 9 p.m. The men’s title winner at Jamnagar, Anthony Amalraj, is the top seed here and
is in real hot form with Harmeet Desai, G. Sathiyan, all from PSPB, and Gujarat’s Devesh Karia follow the leader in the seeding list.

Similarly, all 32 players in fray in the women’s singles, including the top eight seeds will face their first round matches a little while from now. In Junior Boys section, with enormous byes afforded, an intense action will
begin tonight with seeded players taking on the qualifiers. Likewise, the Junior Girls too had enjoyed the benefit of byes in 64 players draw and they will have their matches which follow the Junior Boys singles.

The qualification processes in both the Youth Boys and Youth Girls have begun, with the latter completing three rounds tonight itself. However, the Youth Boys will have a round tomorrow before the main draw events for them
start tomorrow along with that of the Youth Girls.

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