Greater Noida, October 31: Title-favourite Thakkar disposed of Soham Bhattacharya in straight games as the top seed sailed into the Junior Boys singles semi-finals of the 2017 ITTF World Junior Circuit India Junior and Cadet Open (Premium) at the Gautam Buddha University Hall here today.
Manush Shah somewhat gained after Jeet Chandra, Snehit Suravajjula and Parth Virmani, also in contention for WJC Finals in Luxembourg next year, bowed out in the quarterfinals. Manush defeated Parth 4-1 while Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun overcame Jeet 4-2 and Singapore’s Yew En Koen Pang struggled past India’s Snehit 4-2.
Now Manush takes on Manav in the first semifinal tomorrow while in the second, the Thai paddler will clash with Korean Pang.
Soham who was lucky to be a part of the Indian squad following a favourable Kerala High Court verdict—the state association had tried to stall his progress because he migrated from West Bengal as an aftter-thought. But against the experienced and consistent Manav, who is No.1 in World Juniors Boys Standings, it was always going to be very difficult. And Soham’s late resistance in the fourth game was not good enough.
Yashini Sivasankar (Left) who toppled second seed Thai Jinnipa Sawettabut and top-seed Maki Shiomi, who beat Lee Seungmi of Korea in action on Tuesday.
In contrast, Snehit fought well and extended the paddler from Singapore, especially in the fifth game which saw several deuces and four game points being squandered by the Indian. But lack of consistency in Jeet saw his downfall as the Thai converted crucial points to his advantage despite the struggle.
The top-seeded Japanese, Maki Shiomi, who is completing only in singles, was almost taken the full distance by Lee Seungmi of South Korea, who is seeded 22, in the quarterfinals. The Japanese was rusty without match practice and it told upon her game when the Korean easily took the first game, but Maki played true to her potential and hit the groove in the second and thereafter the match was going only one way. In the fourth and fifth games, Lee put a lot of pressure on her rival but could not deny Maki her semifinal place.
Maki will take on India’s Surbi Patwari, who defeated compatriot Prapti Sen 4-1 after a comfortable 2-0 lead, in the first semifinaltomorrow. Prapti managed to take just the third game but Surbi was severe on her opponent to finish off quickly.
In the bottom half, seventh-seeded Indian, Yashini Sivasankar, sent second-seed Thai, Jinnipa Sawettabutt packing in straight games. The Indian, who is having a purple patch, simply ran through her opponent, despite two extended games. Yashini will meet Yoo Siwoo of Korea in the other semifinal. The Korean accounted for Indian Priyanka Pareek 4-2 in what was the second best quarterfinal match.
The Indian southpaw, who went the full distance to win against Varuni Jaiswal in the pre-quarterfinals in the morning, put up a brave fight, including in three extended games, but not good enough to see her through.
Surprisingly, both Archana Kamath and Selena Selvakumar, who were on each other’s toes for a spot in the WJC Finals, bowed out in the second round—Surbing beating Archana 11-4, 13-11, 11-9, 9-11, 18-16 and Selena being knocked out by the second-seed Thai who won 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7.
In Cadet Boys, there was a lone Korean in Yewe Eng Koen Pang who entered the semifinals after downing Agniv Bhaskar of India 3-0 but other three Indians ensured themselves a place on the podium as Yashansh Malik, Alberto Lalremruata and H. Jeho advanced. But the best match was between Yashansh and Payas Jain, both capable of beating the other on a given day. And today, Yashansh overcame Payas after being stretched to win 3-2, the latter slipping away despite 2-1 lead.
In Cadet Girls, yet again, Korean Lee Dagyeong survived to live another day after upsetting second-seeded Anusha Kutumbale of India in straight games. Anusha, somewhat handicapped on the day and enjoying the first-round bye, failed the cross the quarterfinal hurdle. But top-seed Vanshika Bhargava, Munmun Kundu and Mihika Rohira moved up, beating their rivals.
Junior Boys: Manav Thakkar (IND) bt Soham Bhattacharya (IND) 11-3, 11-1, 11-4, 11-8; Manush Shah (IND) bt Parth Virmani (IND) 11-9, 12-10, 11-5, 7-11, 11-6; Yew En Koen Pang (KOR) bt Snehit Suravajjula (IND) 13-15, 11-7, 12-10, 9-11, 17-15, 11-6; Yanapong Panagitgun (THA) bt Jeet Chandra (IND) 11-5, 3-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9.
Junior Girls: Maki Shiomi (JPN) bt Lee Seungmi (KOR) 6-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-9, 14-12; Surbi Patwari (IND) bt Prapti Sen (IND) 11-7, 11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-7; Yoo Siwoo (KOR) bt Priyanka Pareek (IND) 9-11, 12-10, 12-10, 11-7, 11-13, 11-9; Yashini Sivasankar (IND) bt Jinnipa Sawettabut (THA) 11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7.
Cadet Boys: Yewe En Koen Pang (SGP) bt Agniv Bhaskar (IND) 11-7, 11-2, 11-6; Yashansh Malik (IND) bt Payas Jain (IND) 11-5, 9-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6; Alberto Lalremruata (IND) bt Chinmaya Somaiya (IND) 11-2, 11-5, 11-6; H. Jeho (IND) bt Dev Shroff (IND) 118-, 11-3, 11-8.
Cadet Girls: Vanshika Bhargava (IND) bt Radhapriya Goel (IND) 12-10, 15-13, 11-1; Munmun Kundu (IND) bt Suhana Saini (IND) 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-4; Mihika Rohira (IND) bt Nithya Mani (IND) 11-7, 14-12, 5-11, 11-8; Lee Dagyeong (KOR) bt Anusha Kutumbale (IND) 11-5, 12-10, 11-5.