In disarray, Manika brings out the best
Manika proved the stuffing she is made of as she first steadied herself and clinically demolished, taking complete control from game 4 to wrap it up.
PUNE: Second seed Manika Batra was in disarray at 0-3, facing an inevitable defeat. But the immense self-belief she has developed in recent times brought out the best in her and a disappointed Ayhika Mukherjee had to bow out 3-4 to in quarterfinals of the 11Sports National Ranking (West Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the Mhalunge-Balewadi Sports Complex here.
Manika proved the stuffing she is made of as she first steadied herself and clinically demolished, taking complete control from game 4 to wrap it up. Of course, the course the two paddlers adopted looked pedestrian with fewer big shots as they were cautious in their approach.
In the end, the experience of having played top players world stood Manika in good stead and the RBI girl had to throw in the towel earlier than she would have liked to. The other quarterfinals didn’t arouse the kind of interest this one did despite Sagarika’s 4-2 win over Pooja Sahasrabudhe.
It was easy for Amalraj, Sharath Kamal and Sanil Shetty as they beat their opponents in straight games to move into the men singles semifinals while unseeded Anirban Ghosh accounted for second seed Sudhanshu Grover 4-2 to make him the thirteenth seeded players to join the exodus.
Sharath was down 0-2 but his experience stood him in good stead to beat Arjun Ghosh. But his round of 32 last night was even more exiting as his unseeded opponent, Sanish Ambekar from Maharashtra, wore him down to first level at 3-3—he was trailing 1-3—and then lead 4-0, 5-1 and 8-3.
But the world No. 31 was up to the challenge and went on to win the decider much to the disappointment of young Sanish. Sharath won 12-10, 11-13, 11-8, 11-8, 12-14, 8-11, 11-9.
Women: Quarterfinals: Divya Deshpande bt Selenadeepthi Selvakumar (TN) 11-2, 4-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-8, Sagarika Mukherjee bt Pooja Sahasrabudhe (PSPB) 11-7, 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 14-16, 11-4, Madhurika Patkar bt Reeth Rishya (PSPB) 6-11, 11-6, 11-9, 13-11, 11-9, Manika Batra bt Ayhika Mukherjee (RBI) 6-11, 9-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-6, 11-7;
Men: Quarterfinals: A. Amalraj bt Vivek Bhargava (Raj) 11-9, 12-10, 11-5, 11-6, A. Sharath Kamal bt Subash Mani (I&AD) 13-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-9, Sanil Shetty bt Birdie Boro (Asm) 11-9, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7, Anirban Ghosh bt Sudhanshu Grover (PSPB) 11-3, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6;