Event Section
Manika knocked out in R1, three more perish


Vijayawada, September 10: Top-seeded Manika Batra spent very little time at the table than she did in Vijayawada to bow out in the first round of the women’s singles in the 11Sports National Ranking (South Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the DRM Municipal Indoor Hall here today.


The honour of sending the CWG gold medallist and mixed doubles bronze winner from the Jarakara Asiad back home very early went to 18-year-old Anannaya Basak, a recent recruiter of Dena Bank. Anannaya, the daughter of Kanchan and Arup Basak, won 11-4, 5-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-8 in less than 40 minutes to make several eyebrows raise. But her parents, both former India players, will be too happy.



Anannya Basak (Dena Bank) an unseeded Qualifier made a big upset , by beating Manika Batra (PSPB) top seed.


As if the disappointment of losing the top-seed from the tournament was not enough, fifth seed Krittwika Sinha Roy, seventh seed Ayhika Mukherjee and eight seed Madhurika Patkar were also sent packing by three other unseeded players—Shanmathi Sathiyan of Tamil Nadu (6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8), Maria Rony of Canara Bank (12-10, 11-6, 11-9, 11-8) and Surbhi Patwari of West Bengal (11-7, 11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9), respectively.


The hype before Manika arrived at the hall where the locals had gathered to catch a glimpse was short-lived as the tall and lanky top-ranked India player and world No. 56 was struggling to find her feet as Anannaya ran up a good lead and finish off the game in eight minutes flat. The experienced Delhi player came back nicely to sound a warning to the Dena Bank paddler when she levelled.


However, Anannaya made most of Manika’s net errors and sluggish approach to go 2-1 up. Manika, as is her wont, fought really hard with hard returns coming from a courageous Anannaya to deuce. But it was the little girl from Mumbai who took the fourth on extended points before polishing off in the fifth to surprise Manika.


The little girl can feel elated but she does realise that she has a long way to go despite her consistency in the past year or so.


Equally, upsetting was the way Madhurika played against Surbhi Patwari, who is a promising youngster. The former national champion and India player has smeared her reputation because this is not the first time that a player, among top 5 of India ranking, going down to juniors and qualifiers. After taking the first game, Madhurika played par below her talent and was never in the game once Surbhi started attacking. Madhurika made far too many mistakes, paying the penalty.


Ahyhika Mukherjee, who was a part of the Asian Games squad at Jakartaka, was even more pathetic when she went down in straight games without any fight. Whatever little she did was in the first game where she managed to stretch the Canara Bank employee, Maria. In fact, credit should go to the tall girl from Kerala who was a bundle of energy and executed her drives to win maximum points.


Krittwika, who has been off-colour this season, needed to pick up her form and it was showing on the first-round match against Shanmathi. Aftr losing the first game rather poorly, the Tamil Nadu girl picked up a nice momentum in the second and continued with it until she pulled it off against the fifth seed.


Fortunately, other four seeds went through their motions to move into the second round even as the men singles second round began without any upsets midway through.


Important Results:


Women Singles (1st round): Anannya Basak (Dena Bank) bt Manika Batra (PSPB) 11-4, 5-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-8; Surabhi Patwari (WB) bt Madhurika Patkar (PSPB) 11-7, 11-7, 11-9, 8-111, 11-9; Sathyan Shanmathi (TN)  bt Sina Roy Krittwika  (WB) 6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8; Rony Maria (Canara Bank) bt Ayhika Mukherjee (RBI) 12-10, 11-6, 11-9, 11-8; Divya Deshpande (PSPB) bt Vanishka Bhargava (DLI) 3-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9; Sutir Mukherjee (HRN) bt Josha Eesha (MHR) 11-6, 11-5, 11-8, 11-2.