Greater Noida, October 28: The Indian domination was very on view on the inaugural day of the 2017 ITTF World Junior Circuit India Junior and Cadet Open (Premium) but what made the contests particularly interesting were two notable upsets in group matches at the Gautam Buddha University Hall here today.
And the upsets came about in Group 1 between India’s A and B teams and it was followed by the one between India C and India D in Group 2. In both cases, the supposedly lesser teams won in Junior Girls—India A went down 1-3 and India D won 3-0 against their compatriots. Later, India D, too, soaked in glory when they blanked out India C 3-0 in Cadet Girls.
Notwithstanding these ‘minor’ upsets, the stronger Indian teams booked their second stage berth and he draw, when taken in the evening, will reveal who they meet in knockout rounds, beginning tomorrow.
The coach’s game plan of making Moumita Dutta play two singles, instead of an experienced Archana Kamath, backfired as Moumita lost both her singles—first against Srushti Haleangadi 11-8, 6-11, 8-11, 9-11 and then to Yashini Sivasankar 7-11, 1-11, 11-7, 12-10, 10-12. Archana did win her singles against Yashini 15-13, 12-10, 11-4, but with some struggle. Then she combined with Moumita in the doubles which, too, they lost to Srushti and Yashini. Similarly, the rest offered to their third player, Selenadeepthi, in a crucial match also baffled everyone.
But Archana pulled off against Korea in the crucial last group match as India A won 3-1 to qualify from their group as the second team behind India B when the latter beat Kazakhstan 3-0 to lead the group. With a lot dependent on Archana, she lived up to her expectations to deliver when it mattered the most, despite losing her opening rubber against Lee Seungmi 8-11, 11-6, 9-11, 10-12. After Selena equaled he score with 11-9, 4-11, 11-8, 11-9 win over Yoo Siwoo, it was left to Archana and Moumita to provide the 2-1 lead when they defeated Kwon Gahyun and Yoo 11-6, 11-4, 11-5. Later Archana followed it up with her reverse singles triumph as she beat Yoo 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8.
Archana Girish Kamath in action against Yoo Siwoo of South Korea at Greater Noida on Saturday in Group 1 match.
The Manav Thakkar-led India A, as anticipated, had complete control over their group opponents, including the South Koreans, to take the top perch which, in turn, helped them move into the semifinals, along with India B, comprising SFR Snehit, Parth Virmani and Anukram Jain.
With just six teams from three groups making the knockout cut, both India A and B are definitely assured of quarterfinal byes as group toppers. But the real trouble could be that either India A or India B are likely to into one of the strongest opponents in the Thailand-Singapore combination, the group C leaders. This means the Indians that gets lucky during draw would avoid meeting the mixed team and instead an easy opponent, paving the way for entry into the final.
Coming to the day’s matches, India A kept a clean slate when they beat Jordan and India C with an identical score of 3-0 in the morning session. Playing their most important match in the evening, they overcame a slight resistance against South Korea to win 3-1.
Except for losing the tough doubles in the company of Manush Shah 9-11, 11-4, 11-13, 11-7, 8-11, Manav Thakkar ruled yet again to win his two singles. Jeet Chandra provided the lead with 9-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-4, 11-5 win over Unseo Jeong and Manav beat Sang Hun Lee 11-5, 11-6, 11-7. In reverse singles, Unseo he repeated the performance with a 11-3, 11-8, 11-4 triumph to complete the rout.