TT: Siddesh crowned with Junior boys title; Varuni is Jr girls champ

tt27Thane: Maharashtra’s Siddesh Pande upstaged Tail Nadu’s Ananth Devarajan 4-0 while Varuni Jaiswal of Talengana defeated much-acclaimed Sreeja Akula of Airports Authority of India 4-2 to claim the Junior Boys and Junior Girls crowns in the ongoing Thane Mayor Cup 2015 National Ranking (West Zone) Table Tennis Championship here at the Dadoji Kondev Stadium today.

Finally, there was something for the locals to cheer about when Siddesh, expectedly, thrashed Devarajan in straight games to the delight of the crowd. Siddesh was too good and egged on by the spectators went on a rampage of his West Bengal opponent and settled the issue within half an hour. The Tamil Nadu boy, who had to fight it out against Central Zone winner Ronit Bhanja, was seeming tired and didn’t have the willpower to put up another fight.

On the other hand, Varuni had to play out of her skin to outwit Sreeja who made a fine comeback in the quarterfinals earlier in the day. In comparison, her semifinal win over Tamil Nadu’s Harshavardhini was rather easy.

Tired as she was, it was telling on her game in the final and Varuni made most of the situation to emerge the winners.

In Junior Boys semifinals, PSPBA’s Siddeh Pande in straight games of 7-11, 7-11, 9-11, 3-11. The normally attacking Manav was on the back foot and Siddesh, egged on by the local crowd, made his rather easier by dismissing his opponent’s presence in less than 35 minutes. In the second semifinals, Ronit Bhanja lost to Tamil Nadu’s Ananth Devarajan 3-4.

In the semifinals, Sreeja Akula defeated R. Harshavardhini, the back-to-back title winner at Chennai and Jamangar, 4-3, while Varuni Jaiswal from Telangana downed another Tamil Nadu girl Yashii Sivashankar 4-3. Both the semifinals not only went down to the wire but had kept the contestants on tenterhooks. The ones who could hold their nerves triumphed.

Earlier, No. 2 seed Jeet Chandra tasted quarterfinal defeat at the hands of former champion Manav Thakkar who won 11-5, 4-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-6. Even title-holder and top-seed Ronit Bhanja of West Bengal struggled to overcome qualifier Jash Dalvi of Maharashtra 12-14, 11-5, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7. But both Siddesh Pande, also of Maharashtra, moved into the semifinals beating West Bengal’s Akash Nath 4-0 while Tamil Nadu’s Ananth Devarajan beat Jharkhand’s Shivaji Roy 11-6, 11-7, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7.

Harshavardhini and Yashini Sivasankar accounted their rivals Shailu or Noorbasha (AP) 4-2 (11-8, 13-11, 7-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-8) and Kaushini Nath (WB) 4-3 (9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8, 7-11, 5-11, 11-6), respectively. Both Telangana’s Sreeja Akula, who represents the AAI, and Varuni Jaiswal, also entered the semifinals but it was a big struggle for Sreeja who had to endure a 7-game battle to overcome another TN girl Seleenadeepthi Selvakumar. The AAI girl won 13-15, 9-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-5 to heave a big sigh of relief.

Upset of tournament

Though most men’s and women’s seeds survived to live another day, the biggest upset of the tournament was No. 2 seed Harmeet Deasi’s exit from the championships. He lost to qualifier Sarthak Gandhi of AAI 10-12, 10-12, 9-11, 12-10, 11-3, 6-1 in the pre-quarterfinals. The only other match that went the full distance was between Nitin Thiruvengadam and PSPB’s Birdie Boro. The duel was won by Nitin 4-3. Otherwise, it was easy for top-seed Anthony Amalraj, fourth seed G. Sathiyan, who struggled against Arjun Ghosh in the third round last night. Arjun had almost sewn up the match with a 3-1 lead but squandered the advantage, thanks to his own doing as well as a clever delayed tactics adopted by old fox Sathiyan. The master received a yellow card but the umpire was lenient not to show a red for Sathiyan continuing with the process which ultimately paid desired result for the PSPB paddler.

In women’s singles all top seeded players went through the motion to go into the quarterfinals.

The men’s and women’s quarterfinals are slated for later tonight while the Youth Boys and Youth Girls play up to pre-quarterfinals to resume their battle tomorrow, the concluding day of the championships.


Junior Boys: Final: Siddesh Pande (Mah) bt Ananth Devarajan (TN) 4-0 (11-7, 11-2, 11-7, 11-7); Semifinals: Siddhesh Pande (Mah) bt Manav Thakkar (PSPBA) 4-0 (11-7, 11-7, 11-9, 11-3); Ananth Devarajan bt Ronit Bhanja 4-3 (4-11, 3-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7, 4-11, 11-8).

Junior Girls: Final: Varuni Jaiswal (Telg) b Sreeja Aku;a (AAI) 4-2 (11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 5-11, 11-13, 11-7); Semifinals: Sreeja Akula (AAI) bt R. Harshavardhini (TN) 4-3 (11-8, 8-11, 2-11, 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8); Varuni Jaiswal bt Yashini Sivasankar (TN) 7-11, 11-7, 12-10, 10-12, 13-11, 11-1.