Category: Table Tennis

PSPB, Haryana teams have grand opening at day 1 of Table Tennis Senior Nationals

Cuttack, January 4: Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSBP) men team, making a bold statement, almost ensured their berth in the pre-quarterfinals of the 80th edition of the 11Even Sports Senior National Table Tennis Championships which began at the Nehru Indoor Stadium here today.

It was a child’s play for the PSPB men who thrashed both Maharashtra B and Bihar with an identical 3-0 scores in the first two rounds from group A to sew up their place, with a match in hand against Sikkim later tonight.

So confident were the PSPB men that they had rested A. Sharath Kamal and with G. Sathiyan holding the beacon he, Anthony Amalraj and Manav Thakkar the team was guided into a position of strength. However, Sharath is expected to enter the fray in the match against Sikkim as he was seen warming up.

In their first round they thrashed Bihar as Sathiyan won 11-7, 11-4, 11-4 against Yogesh Mathuri to set the ball rolling. Amalraj followed it up with a 11-9, 11-6, 11-4 victory to PSPB 2-0, leaving Manav Thakkar to complete the job. He won 11-3, 11-3, 11-6 against Lekh Raj.

Then they accounted for Maharashtra B, with Sathiyan starting the proceedings against Js Dalvi (11-4, 11-7, 11-9) and Sudhanshu Grover completing it against Tanmay Rane (11-9, 11-9, 11-6). In between Amalraj took a game more to beat Faegan Albuquerque 11-3, 8-11, 11-7, 12-10.

Manika Batra led PSPB’s charge in women’s affair, beating Uttarakhand 3-0. Her victim was Vanshika Yadav who lost 7-11, 6-11, 4-11, while Madhurika Patkar beat Priyana Saha 11-3, 11-8, 11-5 with Archana Kamath downing Jyoti Bharti 11-2, 11-4, 11-3 in the one-sided first round.

With only one round having been gone through in women’s team events, the group leaders had secured their first wins to make a good beginning.

Maharashtra B, despite their loss to PSPB, looked the second team to make grade from the group, having beaten Sikkim 3-0 and they will be next taking on lowly Bihar in the last round.

Last year’s runner-up Haryana defeated both hosts Odisha 3-0 and followed it up with a win over Odisha, also a 3-0 verdict.  Opening with Jubin Kumar, Haryana won the first rubber beating Bikash Kumar Singh 11-5, 11-3, 11-2. Then the experienced Sourav Saha dropped the first game against Asif Haque but managed to pull it back with a 2-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7 as Jeet Chandra finished the task with a 11-7, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7 win over Snehamoy Mallick.

Later, playing the first rubber against Chhattisgarh, Jeet accounted for Santosh Araswilli 12-10, 11-7, 10-12, 11-9 before left-handed Jubin consolidating their lead with a 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 triumph over Sagar Ghatge as Sourav Saha beat Abhishek Raj 6-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-5.

The teams that were in line for taking the top spot in each of the other groups were Gujarat in group C, who had won both their rounds, Tamil Nadu in group D, Maharashtra A, enjoying a walkover from Arunachal Pradesh were sitting pretty in group E, Railways in group F, West Bengal in group G and Delhi in group H. All of them have a match in hand as the last round will be played tonight before the main draw begins tomorrow morning.

Archana meets Chinese Yingsha in YOG semifinals

Pune, October 10: Archana Girish Kamath had to summon all her skills, energy and nerves to overcome Azerbaijan’s Nign Jing 13-11, 8-11, 6-11, 11-3, 6-11, 12-10, 11-7 to enter the semifinals of the 3rd Youth Olympics Games in Buenos Aires (Argentina).

In the semifinals, to be played later tonight, she takes on China’s Yingsha Sun. A win against will put her into the medal round straightaway, failing which the Indian will have a shot at the playoff for the bronze medal.

But the spectacular fight she put yesterday in the Argentina capital must have given her enough confidence for the semifinals against the Chinese.

After taking the extended first game, Archana was hit back by Ning Jing, a Chinese original players turning out for Azerbaijan, who went 2-1 up to mount pressure on the Indian. But Archana was up to the task and levelled 3-3 before dropping the next.

At this junction, the 18-year-old had to muster courage to keep her nerves calm and approach the match with composure. And she did it marvelously to first erase the deficit and in the decider, playing like a champion, she simply demolished her opponent.

“It was a tough match and she fought till the very end. So I am very happy that I could win. But credit should also go her because she played really well,” said Archana. Asked about her plans, she just smiled and added: I am very excited about the semifinals.”

Archana first Indian to enter YOG quarterfinals

Pune, October 9: Archana Girish Kamath became the first Indian to enter the quarterfinals in women singles at the 3rd Youth Olympics Games when she beat Hong Kong’s Lee Ka Yee 4-2 (14-12, 14-12, 9-11, 8-11, 12-10, 15-13) in Buenos Aires (Argentina).

Thus, Archana avenged her YOG qualifiers’ loss in the Road to Buenos Aires series held in the Czech Republic a couple of months before she finally made the grade in the last qualifiers held in Rarontonga, Cooks Islands, in June.

In the pre-quarterfinals that lasted 40 minutes, the 18-year-old paddler from Bengaluru won the tie on her second match-point to stop Lee on her tracks after she had staged a fine recovery from a 0-2 deficit.

In the quarterfinals, she will play Jing Ning from Azerbaijan, who beat Puerto Rican  Adriana Dais, tomorrow.

In the needle match, Archana had an upper hand despite the Hong Kong paddler was just separated by a couple of points to begin win. In the first two games, Archana held her nerves to outwit on her second game point, twice over.

But a determined Lee went into attacking mode right from the word go in the third game and that paid off as the Indian was pushed into the corner and was largely playing into her opponent’s hands. Probably upset by the loss, Archana was unable to keep the ball on the table which only helped Lee’s cause. Some crucial points also went the way of Lee to propel her.

But in the fifth, Archana regained control and led by a slender margin. At 10-10, it was anybody’s game but Archana held on to go up 3-2. And in the next, Archana surged into 5-2 lead but allowed her rival to come close at 8-7 when coach Soumyadeep Roy took time-out. But unfortunately, it didn’t help as Lee leveled 8-8 and then the game went 9-9 before Archana seizing the lead at 10-9.

Leet deuced and Archana was on her first match point at 11-10 only to let her opponent off the hook. But in the end, on her second chance she grabbed it with both hands to progress.

“It was a tense game with fortunes fluctuating. I should have won the match on the first chance but somehow managed to do it on the second occasion,” said an elated Archana.

On her next opponent, Archana said she and the coach will sit and strategise tomorrow. “We have to plan for tomorrow’s match and I have to carry today’s confidence into tomorrow’s quarterfinals,” she added.

Equally happy M.P. Singh, Secretary General of TTFI, sent his congratulatory message to Archana. “You did us all proud. Play the way you have been. You are just a step away from the medal round!” he said in his message.

Meanwhile, Manav Thakkar lost his pre-quarterfinals to Japanese Tomokazu Harmoto 4-1 to make his exit in the men singles event.

Sharath shows class and Madhurika hits groove

Pune, October 9: Reigning national champion A. Sharath Kamal and former national champion Madhurika Patkar would be immensely happy to have ended the zonal season on a winning note, taking the men and women singles crowns in the 11Sports National Ranking (West Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the Mhalunge-Balewadi Sports Complex here today.

Sharath took just 25 minutes to dispose of final opponent Anirban Ghosh of AAI 4-0 and Madhurika finally arrested the dry spell to beat Divya Deshpande 4-2 in her final. Incidentally, they were the first titles for both this season.

Sharath has had an up-and-down run-up to the final but once he was there, he ensured he won it with authority. Taking complete control from game 1, he demolished the young Anirban, who had done to reach the final. “I needed this victory,” said the 36-year-old, whose exploits this year in the CWG and Asian Games need no repetition. But what his words reiterated was the hunger in his underbelly, the desire to win more and more titles, national or international.

Despite hitting a purple patch in the tournament, she was 0-2 down against Divya Deshpande but mustered courage to take the next four games in her own inimitable style—his forehands were as powerful as the backhands. Divya somewhat lost her way after taking a comfortable lead and could not overcome the mental block, particularly in the fifth game which was anybody’s game. When Madhurika won 12-10, it was almost curtains for Divya as she wrapped up the next in double quick time.

Gujarat’s Manush Shah, making of the absence of his bête noire, Manav Thakkar, defeated Jeet Chandra of Haryan 4-0 to claim the Youth Boys title while Sreeja Akula denied Prapti Sen another Youth Girls title as the RBI girl won 4-3 in a tough final. Sreeja clinched the decider on extended points after it was 10-all.

Manika could not repeat yesterday’s form and was easily subdued by Madhurika Patkar, who hit her purple patch in the tournament. Manika managed to win her opening game in the semifinals but could not add to the solitary point that she got in the second. She, however, fought well in the third to stay in the match but Madhurika claimed crucial points after deuce to go 2-1 up. And Manika took another game before a confidence personified Madhurika ran riot to enter the final.

In the other semifinal, Sagarika Mukherjee was no match to her rival Divya Deshpande as the latter just dropped a game before pulling herself up to reach the final. Divya played percentage game and her free-flowing shots on both flanks left the Railways girl dumbfounded.

Sharath, like yesterday, took some time before settling down and overcome a 0-2 deficit and then going up 3-2. Amalraj did all he could to come back and even took a game off him. But then the wily Sharath played a superb endgame—he was trailing 4-8 and then 8-10—to win the decider on extended points. On the other hand, Sanil Shetty fought back well from 1-3 to level 3-3 but Anirban Ghosh, running a decent lead in the sixth game, was well ahead of the PSPB lefthander. Aniban clinched the crucial two points to stop him at nine.

In Youth Boys semifinals Jeet Chandra from Haryana had to last the full course against his West Bengal rival and first-timer Kiranjoy Pushilal to win 4-3 while Manush Shah, trailing 4-8 in the decider, knocked Payas Jain, denying the Delhi boy yet another shot at the title. Payas, probably tiring, made a few crucial errors that cost him another final this season.

In Youth Girls, Sreeja Akula and Prapti Sen moved into the final, both having to endure longer resistance from their opponents Surbhi Patwari and Selenadeethi Selvakumar.



WomenFinal: Madhurika Patkar (PSPB) bt Divya Deshpande ((PSPB) 7-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9, 12-10, 11-5; Semifinals: Divya Deshpande bt Sagarika Mukherjee (RSPB) 11-6, 11-7, 11-1, 9-11, 11-6; Madhurika Patkar bt Manika Batra (PSPB) 10-12, 11-1, 13-11, 6-11, 11-9, 12-10.

MenFinal: A. Sharath Kamal (PSPB) bt Anirban Ghosh (AAI) 11-6, 11-8, 11-3, 11-5; Semifinals:  Sharath Kamal bt A. Amalraj (PSPB) 12-14, 7-11, 11-9, 14-12, 11-7, 9-11, 13-11; Anirban Ghosh bt Sanil Shetty (PSPB) 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9.

Youth GirlsFinal: Sreeja Akula (RBI) bt Prapti Sen (WB) 11-7, 5-11, 11-9, 14-16, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10; Semifinals: Sreeja Akula bt Surbhi Patwari (WB) 9-11, 11-9, 3-11, 11-5, 14-12, 11-5; Prapti Sen bt Selenadeepthi Selvakuar (AAI) 11-8, 5-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8.

Youth BoysFinal: Manush Shah (Guj) bt Jeet Chandra (Har) 11-6, 12-10, 12-10, 13-11; Semifinals: Jeet Chandra bt Kiranjoy Pushilal (WB) 9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-9, 11-9, 11-6; Manush Shah bt Payas Jain (Del) 11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-9, 13-15, 11-8.

Suthirtha escapes by the skin of her teeth in 11Sports National Ranking (West Zone) Table Tennis Championships

Pune, October 7: Top-seed and winner of South and East Zone titles had to really dig in to make a great escape and move into the second round of the women singles in the 11Sports National Ranking (West Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the Mhalunge-Balewadi Sports Complex here today.

Her opponent Mamata Prabhu of Dena Bank on the verge of clinching the tie at 10-9 in the sixth game—she was leading 3-2 at that stage—but allowed the Haryana girl to wriggle herself out of the rut as she deuced and went on to win the game 12-10 and equal the score 3-3. From there, the team gold winner at the 2018 CWG was a changed player as she simply demolished the former India player 4-3.

In fact, the top-heavy half saw more such matches than the bottom half but all top eight seeds moved up without much hiccups.

In other interesting matches in the top half, Priyadarsini Das of RBI was stretched fully by Maria Ro of Canara Bank before the former winning the extended decider. Divya Deshpande, No. 8 seed, was in some discomfort before overcoming AAI’s Munmun Kundu to win 4-2.

Among the seeded players, No. 2 Manika Batra beat Vanshika Bhargava of Delhi 11-9, 11-6, 11-4, 12-10. But the little put up a good resistance to stretch her in the fourth game. However, it was easy for Pooja Sahasrabudhe, the fourth seed, against Tamil Nadu’s Shanmathi Sathyamoorthy, winning the match 11-5, 11-2, 11-8, 11-7.

Among men seeds, ninth seed Jubin Kumar was staring at an imminent defeat against Gujarat’s Jignesh Jaiswal, the oldest player in fray, at 1-3. But the left-handed picked up nicely to take the last three games and move into the next round. Probably, the old legs could not sustain the pressure unleashed by the Haryana man.

But it was rather surprising to see Tamil Nadu’s Ananth Devaraj losing to youngster Shreyal Telang from Karnataka in the round of 64 1-4. Ananth had entered the semifinals in the South Zone at Vijawada a few weeks back. Similarly, Manush Shah from Gujarat, a free-flowing left-hander, was struggling before overcoming Souvik Banerjee of West Bengal 10-12, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-9.

For other seeds, it was as easy as it can get, including top-ranked Indian in the world Sharath Kamal who went through the motions.

Important Results:

MenRound of 64: Jubin Kumar (Har) bt Jignesh Jaiswal (Guj) 7-11, 10-12, 11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5; Shreyal Telang (Kar) bt Ananth Devarajan (TN) 14-12, 11-8, 10-12, 11-9, 11-6; Arjun Ghosh (AAI) bt Mandar Hardikar (Mah) 11-6, 4-11, 6-11, 12-10, 13-11, 11-6; Parth Virmani (Del) bt Ravindra Kotiyan (RSPB) 8-11, 12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9; Jeet Chandra (Har) bt Kishore Kumar (CRSB) 11-5, 9-11, 5-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6; Manush Shah (Guj) bt Souvik Banerjee (WB) 10-12, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-9.

WomenRound of 64: Sutirtha Mukherjee (Har) bt Mamata Prabhu (DB) 13-11, 6-11, 11-7, 4-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8; Priyadarsini Das (RBI) bt Maria Rony (CB) 11-5, 7-11, 6-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-8, 13-11; Divya Deshpande (PSPB) bt Munmun Kundu (AAI) 5-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-4; Garima Goyal (Del) bt Deepa Neelakandan (TN) 12-10, 10-12, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 3-11, 11-9; Poymantee Baisya (WB) bt Shreya Deshpande (DB) 8-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 11-4; Sreeja Akula (RBI) bt Moumita Dutta (AAI) 11-9, 10-12, 10-12, 8-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-5; Ayhima Mukjerjee (RBI) bt K. Shamini (PSPB) 11-5, 10-12, 11-4, 11-8, 12-14, 11-6; Mallika Bhandarkar bt Varuni Jaiswal (Telg) 8-11, 11-6, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8.

Sutirtha Mukherjee (Har) bt Mamata Prabhu (Dena Bank) 13-11, 6-11, 11-7, 4-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8; Selena Deepthi (AAI) bt Sushmita Bidri (Kar) 11-7, 11-5, 11-6, 11-9; Aanchal Malhotra (Del) bt Seraha Jacob (TN) 11-3, 11-5, 12-10, 14-16, 4-11, 11-6; Nikhat Banu (RBI) bt Mrunmayee Mhatre (LIC) 11-8, 14-12, 11-8, 11-8;  Sagarika Mukherjee (RSPB) bt Payal Hansapuri (Chg) 11-7, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5; Divya Deshpande (PSPB) bt Munmun Kundu (AAI) 5-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-4; Amrutha Pushpak (RBI) bt Manushree Patil (Har-HoB) 11-7, 9-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7; Pooja Sahasrabuddhe (PSPB) bt Sathya Shanmathi (TN) 11-5, 11-2, 11-8, 11-7; Harsha Vardhini (RBI) bt Kaushani Nath (AAI) 11-8, 11-6, 12-14, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8; Oishwaryaa Deb (Har) bt N. Vidya (CRSB) 11-3, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8; Ahyika Mukherjee (RBI) bt K. Shamini (PSPB) 11-5, 10-12, 11-4, 11-8, 12-14, 11-6; S. Yashini (TN) bt Kausha Bhairapure (Guj) 11-4, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5; Manika Batra (PSPB) bt Vanshika Bhargava (Del) 11-9, 11-6, 11-4, 12-10.

Top paddlers’ return for West Zone TT promises good competitions

Pune, October 4: There is some good news at last. A. Sharath Kamal, the top-ranked Indian in the world at No. 31, and Manika Batra, the new icon, will be part of the star parade at the 11Sports National Ranking (West Zone) Table Tennis Championships, beginning at the Mhalunge-Balewadi Sports Complex here from tomorrow.

This has come as shot in the arm for the organizers, Sudesh Shelar Memorial Foundation, which is conducting the tournament in memory of the national-level player and sports administrator, who passed away in 2006. This is the first ever venture at national level by the foundation.

Harmeet Desai, who played a major role in India’s medal hunt at Gold Coast (CWG) and Jakarka (Asian Games), has joined the parade, but G. Sathiyan with his league commitment abroad has not taken the plunge yet. However, he did participate in the Institutional championships and emerged as the men singles champion.

Both Manav Thakkar, winner of two titles this season, and Archana Kamath, will miss the tournament as they are representing India at the Youth Olympics, beginning October 6, at Buenos Aires in Argentina.

Except for these aberrations, the West Zone championships promise the usual challenges and god competitions with contenders trying to win the last zonal before the nationals get underway from December.

Anthony Amalraj, who won title at Vijayawada, would like to add the West Zone crown while Harmeet will look to upstage him. But Siddesh Pande, who became a surprise winner at East Zone, should be itching to lift the trophy a second time. He was simply superb at Guwahati.

The return of Manika Batra could see tight contests for the top podium finish as challengers Suthirtha Mukherjee, (South and East Zone winner), Pooja Sahasrabudhe (Central Zone winner) and Divya Deshpande (Institutional champion) would like to make the crown their own as Manika is coming into the tournament with little match practice.

The youth and junior paddlers have done themselves proud by challenging the authority of fancied seniors time and again. So have been the Cadet players with new faces emerging every tournament.

The prize money apart, which Rs. 7.47 lakh, there are some incentives on offer from the organizers for 10 under-15 players, who have a lot of potential. “We would be paying Rs. 50,000 each to the 10 selected (ideally five in each section) and support them,” said Rajesh Shelar, ex-international player and the brother of Sudesh. “We have raised the funds from our friends to help promote young kids, especially those in real need,” he added.

The open draw for top-ranked 16 men and eight women paddlers, conducted today at the venue by chief referee T.G. Upadhya, has given both Amalraj and Suthirta the top slots, respectively. And it is up to them to live up to the seeding.

According to the referee, 16 STAG tables, Stag plastic balls and flooring will be used during the seven-day competition, which kicks off with men and women groups matches, followed competition in Youth section. The chief referee will be assisted by deputies in A. Satheese and Rohit shinde who will be supported by 45 Blue Badge, international and national referees.

Sathiyan enters Spanish Open final; Manika-Mouma pair sets the tone

New Delhi, November 26: G. Sathiyan entered the men singles final of 2017 Challenge Spanish Open when he defeated Lam Siu Hang of Hong Kong 11-7, 11-8, 11-3, 8-11, 12-10 to become the first Indian to do an encore in a Challenge series at Almeria today.

He will take on sixth-seed Japanese Kazuhiro Yoshimura in the final to be played latertonight. The Japanese downed Ng Pak Nam, the No. 14 seed, from Hong Kong 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 3-11,11-5, 11-7 in a tough first semi-final earlier.

As for the Indian, who has a World Tour series title from Belgium Open in 2016, it looked all easy when he quickly went 3-0 up against the Hong Kong player. But the latter made most of Sathiyan flaws and took a comfortable lead of 8-4. Yet, Sathiyan closed in on his rival before he won with a sizeable margin.

In the fifth game, however, it was Lam who surged ahead with a winning lead of 9-5 but squandered it to allow Sathiyan level 9-9 and go 10-9 up. As he served for his match point, he failed to keep the ball in play and it allowed a lifeline to his opponent. After deuce, he served but a powerful backhand return from Sathiyan forced Lam block but the ball went out for Sathiyan to let out a big scream in elation.

It was an unexpected win for Sathiyan in the semi-final when he sent the third seeded Iranian, Noshad Alamiyan, packing rather cheaply as he the Indian won 7-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7, 11-6.

Manika-Mouma in maiden final

Earlier, the Indian pair of Manika Batra and Mouma Das entered its maiden women doubles final after accounting for the local favourites Ana Garcia and Xuan Zhang 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 16-14. The second-seeded Indian duo began sluggishly, losing the first game but grew in confidence to lead 2-1 rather easily. However, the Spanish pair came back strongly to level score and taking the issue to the decider.

The Indians did well to keep a slender lead and combining well posed sufficient problems to the Spaniards. But credit to the local girls who fought well and mounted pressure on their opponents after deuce.

The decisive saw Indians losing three match points before they held their fourth to enter the final where they will meet the top-seeded and a strong Korean pair of Jihee Jeon and Haeun Yang. The Koreans beat Ukraine’s Ganna Gaponova and Ievgeniia Vasylieva 10-12, 10-12, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7.

The Koreans have an impeccable record of 14 final appearances on the ITTF World Tour, with seven titles to their credit!

Boys win first-round

Meanwhile, the junior boys’ team of Manav Thakkar, Manush Shah and Snehit Suravajjula blanked out New Zealand 3-0 in the their first round group D match in the 2017 World Junior Table Tennis Championships, currently on at Riva del Garda in Italy.

In the opening rubber Manush Shah defeated Dean Shu 11-3, 11-6, 11-3, while Manav overcame a tough Alfred Dela Pena 5-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7. In the third rubber, Senhit accounted for Victor Ma 11-4, 11-9, 11-7

Table Tennis: Lower groups throw surprises, leaders packed off

Thane, November 14: Paddlers in top six groups hardly dropped a sweat as they retained their position to move into the main draw of Sub-Junior Girls in the 11Sports National Ranking Championships (West) for the Mayor Cup at the Dadoji Konddev Stadium here today.

Tisha Kohli of Delhi, Kavyashree Baskar of Tamil Nadu, Radhapriya Goel of UP, Cathrin Tina Dass of Tamil Nadu, Sharmitha Srinivasan, also of Tamil Nadu, and Pritha Vartikar of Maharashtra easily beat their group rivals. There were similar results in some other groups, too, except for some topsy-turvy outcomes in a few where the group toppers were sent packing.

For instance, Delhi’s Tamanna Gulshan, who is ranked in the 9-16 brackets, could not take the advantage of the walkover of a player from her group and lost the only match that she had to play against Sayali Wani of Maharashtra as the latter won 12-10, 11-5, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9 in group 7.

In group 8, Meghana Karandikar of Maharashtra toppled Fatema Kadri of Gujarat in straight games to enter the main draw, courtesy the lone win and a walkover from the third player. In Group 17, Aafrien Murad of Gujarat beat both the No. 1 and No. 2 players, Sucheta Prosad of West Bengal 3-0 and then accounted for Sayali Baxi of Maharashtra 3-1 to advance. In group 19, Ratnabali Pathak of West Bengal did a similar act against Taniya Patil of Goa, beating her 3-1 and then downing Poonam Yadav of Maharashtra in straight games.

In group 22, Aneeha D’Souza of Maharashtra entered the main draw after accounting for the top two players Sania Bhowmick of North Bengal (3-0) and Kaashvi Gupta of Delhi (3-1).  There were other upsets when Sampada Bhiwandkar of Maharashtra, Aditi Joshi of Karnataka and Kalyani Dhinesh, also of Karnataka, surprised the group leaders to make it a memorable outing for them.

It will be a draw of 64 in both the Sub-Junior Boys and Girls categories with the top eight ranked players getting at least byes in the first round. The third round matches, currently on, will decide which of the 32 boys who will make the cut.

Meanwhile, the Cadet Boys and Girls group matches get underway from tomorrow.

Important results:

Sub-junior Girls Qualifying: Group 7: Sayali Wani (MHR) bt Gulshan Tamanna (DLI) 12-10, 11-5, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9;Group 8: Meghana Karandikar (MHR) bt Fatema Kadri (GUJ) 12-10, 11-9 11-8; Group 17: Aafrien Murad (GUJ) bt Sucheta Prosad (WB) 5-11, 13-11, 12-10, 11-7; Group 19: Ratnabali Pathak (WB) bt Taniya Patil (GOA) 11-4, 10-12, 11-7, 13-11; Group 22: Aneeha D’Souza (MAH) bt Kaashvi Gupta (DLI) 4-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-3; Group 23: Taneesha Kotecha (MHR) bt Nehal Venkatasamy (TN) 11-5, 11-3, 11-13, 10-12, 13-11; Group 25: Sneha Bhowmick (WB) bt Vartica Bharat (UP) 11-5, 10-12, 11-4, 12-10; Group 26: Sampada Bhiwandkar (MHR) bt Spriha Devanath (WB) 11-8, 11-6, 11-13, 11-7; Group 29: Aditi Joshi (KNT) bt Kavisha Parekh (GUJ) 11-6, 11-6, 11-13, 11-3; Group 30: Kalyani Dhinesh (KNT) bt Anoushka Chatterjee (GUJ) 11-6, 12-10, 11-7.

Doubles gold for Manav-Manush duo in 2017 Slovenia Open Junior and Cadet Open

New Delhi, September 24: India’s Manav Thakkar and Manush Shah combined well in the Junior Boys doubles final to beat the top-seeded Chinese Taipei duo of Feng i-Hsin and Tai Ming-Wei 11-7, 11-6, 17-15 and claim gold in the 2017 Slovenia Open Junior and Cadet Open at Otocec here today.

Earlier the second-seeded Indian pair had beaten compatriots Anukram Jain and Snehit Suravajjula 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 14-12 in the semi-final.

In the final, the Indians unleashed their attack to put pressure on the top seeds. The left-right combination proved to be too hot for the Taipei pair which tried to comeback in the third game which saw several deuces and the pair saving four match points. In the end, Manav and Manush won the gruelling battle to win the gold.

But before the final action, both Anukram and Snehit had accounted for No. 4 seeds from Japan, Aoto Azasu and Takeru Kashiwa 3-2 in the round of 16 and then packed off local favourites Tilen Cvetko and peter Hribar from Slovokia 11-13, 11-8, 13-11, 8-11, 11-8 in the quarterfinals.

In the semifinal, too, they put up a good fight to run Manav and Manush rather too close for the latters’ comfort.

Another medal was on its way when top-seeded Jeho Himnakulhpuingheta kept his date with destiny to reach the Cadet Boys singles final. He defeated Iran’s Radin Khayyam in straight games of 11-5, 1-4, 11-9 to earn a final meeting with Ireland’s Owen Cathcard, the No. 2 seed, who accounted for Ivor Ban 11-8, 11-1, 6-11, 11-5 from Croatia. Jeho, who had earlier been beaten twice by his adversary in the Belgium Open, will get his chance to avenge those losses in the final to be played later tonight.

Earlier, Payas Jain and Diya Chitale bowed out in the Cadet quarterfinals, Radin Khayyam winning 9-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 against Payas and Chen Ci-Xuan downing Diya 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7.

Slovenia Open-Junior paddlers win gold and silver in team event

New Delhi, September 22: Indian paddlers dominated the proceedings in the team events of the Junior Boys section in the 2017 Slovenia Junior and Cade Open in Otocec, as Team India ‘B’ proved superior to Team India ‘A’ in the finals to share gold and silver, in that order, today.

The B team, consisting of Snehit Suravajjula, Parth Virmani and Ajukram Jain, turned the tables against the A team’s Jeet Chandra, Manav Thakkar and Manush Shah 3-2.

Indeed, it was a surprise result in a closely-fought contest as the final went down to the wire. Yet again, it was Snehit who have India ‘B’ the ideal start when he beat Jeet Chandra 11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 2-11, 11-8 before Manav accounted for Parth Virmani 11-6, 11-4, 11-9 and Manush Shah who overcame Anukram Jain 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 12-10.

Despite the momentum being in favour of India A, when Snehit returned to action he accounted for Manav 11-9, 8-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-5 to level score. Taking it further, Parth downed Jeet 5-11, 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6 to secure the title for India B.

Earlier, the same trio had recorded a 3-1 quarter-final success against the outfit comprising Portugal’s Vitor Amorin and José Pedro Francisco, who joined forces with Iran’s Amin Ahmadian. With a  semi-final place booked, the same margin of victory was posted against Nikhil Kumar and Victor Liu of the United States who joined hands with Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun.

Meanwhile, in the other half of the draw, India ‘A’ was put to a severe test by the Slovakian outfit formed by Jakub Zelinka, Stefan Petko and Daniel Orac in the quarterfinals. A 3-2 win was the end result with Manav being the backbone of success. He beat Stefan Petko 6-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 and Jakub Zelinka 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 in his singles.

Having negotiated a tough quarterfinal, the A team of India upstaged Chinese Taipei trio formed by Kao Min-Chi, Feng Yi-Hsin and Tai Min-Chi, the winners the previous week in Croatia, 3-1 in the semifinal.

Incidentally, the Taipei team which had clinched gold in Varazdin, had to be satisfied with the bronze medal at in Otocec.