Manika Batra, Diya Chitale stretched at National table tennis championship


The top two seeds in women’s singles were made to sweat in the second round of the senior National table tennis championships here on Saturday. It was also a day when all the women top eight seeds advanced to the third round (Rd-32).

PSPB’s Manika Batra and Diya Chitale of Maharashtra, seeded No. 1 and No. 2 here, had to exert themselves to overcome Riti Shankar (Haryana) and Divya Deshpande of PSPB respectively.

Manika lost the first two games but went on to bag the remaining four to win in six games, 6-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7, 11-1 and advance to the round of 32.

Manika and Riti have been clubmates for many years, and sparring partners, under the guidance of coach Sandeep Gupta; Riti still trains under Sandeep. 

With both employing long pimples on their backhand, there were quite a few long rallies. Manika made many unforced errors early on, but got everything under control midway in the fifth game.

Rollercoaster ride: Diya had the upper before Divya made a fist of it. But the former had the last laugh.
| Photo Credit: RITU RAJ KONWAR

Leading 3-1, Diya was riding high, before Divya fought back putting relentless pressure on Diya’s backhand, backed by solid counter-attacks to win the next two games. However, in the decider, Diya upped the ante running up an 8-0 lead and triumphed 13-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 8-11, 5-11, 11-3.

Making a comeback after three years, Mouma Das (PSPB) eased past Ruja Paul (Bengal-B) 11-7, 13-11, 11-9, 11-9.

Meanwhile, the Selection Committee formed by CoA will meet on April 25 (Monday) after the championships.

The results (second round): Women: Manika Batra bt Riti Shankar (Har) 6-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7, 11-1; Diya Chitale (Mah-A) bt Divya Deshpande (PSPB) 13-11,7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 8-11, 5-11, 11-3; Mouma Das (PSPB) bt Ruja Paul (Ben-B) 11-7, 13-11, 11-9, 11-9; Swastika Ghosh (Mah-A) bt Suhana Narjinary (UP) 11-6, 11-6, 11-5, 11-9; Prapti Sen (RSPB) bt V.S. Kokila (TNTTA) 6-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-, 11-8; Anusha Kutumbale (MP) bt Charvi Kawle (FCI) 11-2, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 4-11, 11-5; Akula Sreeja (RBI) bt Prajakta Tipale (LIC) 11-5, 11-7, 10-12, 12-14, 11-7, 11-9; Reeth Rishya (PSPB) bt Tisha Kohli (Del) 11-3, 11-3, 11-8, 11-4; Takeme Sarkar (RSPB) bt Shailu Noorbasha (MC & IT) 2-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 11-4.

Men: Soham Bhattacharya (Ker) bt Arjun Ghosh (RSPB) 4-11, 10-12, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9; K. J. Akash bt Payas Jain (Del) 8-11, 5-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5.

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