Thane: Tamil Nadu’s Nikhil Suresh was the lone seed that became a first-round victim in the draw on the second day of the UTT National Ranking (West Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the Sulochana Devi Singhania School here today.
But for the 16th seed player, most other seeds went through the motions while four seeded players barely survived to move into the round of 32.
As for the women seeds, they didn’t have to bother about the first-round curse as all of them and several other qualifiers had byes. Their business begins only later tonight when they play their second rounds.
Nikhil, on any situation, should have simply walked into the second round, but on the day went down tamely to unseeded Aniket Sen Chowdhary as the West Bengal paddler made it all look easy as he beat the Tamil Nadu player 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 11-2 to earn a meeting with LIC’s Sougata Sarkar. Sougata, too, scored a straight games triumph over Gourang Shakreja of Haryana.
But in the real battle for Round 32 spots, second-seed Sanil Shetty and third-seed Sushmit Srriram had some harrowing time before overcoming their rivals Ali Mohammad of Telangana and Shubham Ambre of the Railways, respectively. Both won their matches with an identical margin of 4-2.
It was a tough ask for the third seed Tamil Nadu paddler, who was down 1-2. The Mumbai lad, who plays for the Railways, had a tight grip over the match until the tall but scratchy Sushmit launched himself to take the last three games.
Similarly, the second seeded PSPB paddler was given a scare when the Telangana boy matched the left-hander’s skills in match that saw very good rallies, apart from being a fast-paced one. At 2-2, Sanil gained the upper hand but in the sixth game, at deuce, it was anybody’s match. The PSPB paddler, using his vast experience, killed whatever chances that the Telangana player might have had of taking the issue to the decider.
In a first-round match between two left-handers, it was equally tough for Gujarat’s Manush Shah who ran into Tamil Nadu’s Preyesh Raj Suresh. The sub-junior boy, with his excellent service variations, caught eighth-seed Manush on the wrong foot on several occasions. But in the end, his fighting skills stood him in good stead as he won 4-2.
In other interesting matches, No. 12 seed Birdie Boro of PSPB struggled against Maharashtra’s Chinmay Somayia before winning 13-11, 13-11, 9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7, while No. 13 seed Jubin Kumar of Haryana overcame the tough Telangana boy Mohammad Ali 11-9, 6-11, 14-12, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6.
Among women singles qualifiers, Anannya Basak sent Haryana’s Riti Shankar packing in the first round. The little girl from Maharashtra played astonishingly well against the experienced Riti to win 11-8, 13-11, 4-11, 11-9, 3-11, 11-4, 11-6. She will next take on Sagarika Mukherjee of the Railways. Chipia Frenaz of Gujarat also had a good outing when she beat Mamata Prabhu of Bank of Baroda 4-2.
Main draw: First round:
Women: Moumita Dutta (RSPB) bt Rony Maria (CB) 11-9, 11-9, 11-9, 3-11, 8-11, 15-13; Premangi Ghosh (RSPB) bt Tamanna Saini (Del) 11-9, 11-4, 11-7, 11-8; Rupsa Bhattacharya (WB) bt Anuska Dutta (RSPB) 14-12, 11-6, 11-7, 12-10; Poymantee Baisya (WB) bt Naina (Tel) 11-9, 11-7, 12-10, 13-15, 11-6; Takeme Sarkar (RSPB) bt Yashini Sivashankar (TN) 6-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-2; Anannya Basak (Mah) bt Riti Shankar (Har) 11-8, 13-11, 4-11, 9-11, 3-11, 11-4, 11-6; Ankita Das (PSPB) bt Anindita Chakraborty (RSPB) 11-5, 13-11, 13-11, 8-11, 11-4; Frenaz Chipia (Guj) bt Mamata Prabhu (Tel) 11-9, 5-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7.
Men: Aniket Sen Chowdhary bt Nikhil Suresh (TN) 11-7, 11-7, 11-7, 11-2; Aman Balgu (Tel) bt Hrishikesh Malhotra (Mah) 6-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-5, 11-8; Manush Shah (Guj) bt S. Preyesh Raj (TN) 11-9, 11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 12-14, 11-8; Jubin Kumar (Har) bt Mohammed Ali (Tel) 11-9, 6-11, 14-12, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6; Sushmit Sriram (TN) bt Shubham Ambre (RSPB) 9-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-3, 11-5, 12-10; Raj Mondal (RBI) bt Jignesh Jaiswal (Guj) 16-14, 6-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 11-5; Utkarsh Gupta (Del) bt G. Arvind Kumar (Tel) 10-12, 12-10, 13-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9; Sanil Shetty (PSPB) bt Ali Mohammed (Tel) 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 10-12, 11-7, 11-6.