Event Section
Divya's last-ditch efforts of no avail as Sagarika enters semifinals


Vijayawada, September 11: Fourth-seed Divya Deshpande became a victim of her own docile game plan, despite keeping herself in the reckoning for a semifinal berth, and bowed out 3-4 to an enterprising Sagarika Mukherjee of Railways in the quarterfinals of the 11Sports National Ranking (South Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the DRM Municipal Indoor Hall here today.


This was the second women seeded player on the day to exit from the tournament after Pooja Sahasrabudhe was sent packing by Reeth Risya in the afternoon.


Sixth-seed Archana Kamath, playing a percentage game, beat Reeth 4-1 while Mousumi Paul downed a spirited Sreeja Akula of RBi 4-2. Earlier, Sutirtha Mukherjee had disposed of Andhra’s Shailu Noorbash 4-0 taking as minimum time as possible in what was a one-sided quarterfinal.


Divya was in real trouble at 1-3 but, mustering courage and putting her experience to use, nicely pulled herself to level the score. This was in spite of Sagarika sending down hard and fast forehands to leave Divya in a sort of discomfort. In the decider, both missed two match-points before Sagarika converted the third one to move up.


For Archana, it was as easy as she would have anticipated against Reeth while Shailu didn’t have the game to topple the second seed Haryana girl, who rode on her fast forehands and excellent blocks. The AP girl was not as bold as she was Ankita Das earlier in the day and playing subdued game made more more mistakes.  Mousumi had to fight really tough against Sreeja to overcome the RBI girl.


Following the exit of four women seeds yesterday, including top-seed Manika Batra, third-seeded Arjun Ghosh was felled by Birdie Boro of Assam 10-12, 13-15, 11-5, 11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7 in a third-round men singles battle which lasted nearly 50 minutes, to start the men seeds exodus. He was followed by fourth seed Raj Mondal of RBI when Nikhil Sureh of Tamil Nadu downed him 11-9, 12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 11-4 and then another Tamil Nadu boy, Ananth Devarajan outlasted sixth-seed Sanil Shetty 16-14, 16-18, 11-9, 5-11, 11-6, 11-7. They all bowed out in the third round.



To enter the semifinals Sutritha Mukherjee (HRN) bt Sailu Noor basha (AP)


Earlier this afternoon, unseeded Reeth Rishya ousted third seed Pooja Sahasrabudhe 11-4, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 3-11, 10-12, 11-3 in a close pre-quarterfinal encounter. Reeth was a revelation today and she had answers to Pooja’s counters with her backhand coming nice and good.


At 10-10 in the fifth game Pooja gifted Reeth a vital point. Then Reeth, on her serve, closed out to level the score. The confidence she gained in the sixth game carried her through in the decider when she became unstoppable as a forlorn looking Pooja just about pushed and prodded, managing mere three points.  


But what was remarkable on the day was Andhra’s Shailu Noorbasha endurance in a grueling battle with Olympian Ankita in the pre-quarters. The Andhra girl, who had accounted for Maria Rony of Canara Bank, in straight games last evening picked up herself well after Ankita went 3-2 up. It was unexpected of her to unleash an all-out attack in the last two games to corner Ankita. The experienced Siliguri girl, unable to absorb the pressure, wilted to a calculated onslaught by Shailu.






Women SinglesQuarterfinals: Mousumi Paul (PSPB) bt Sreeja Akula (RBI) 9-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7, Sagarika Mukherjee (Rlys) bt Divya Deshpande (PSPB) 12-10, 12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 5-11, 16-14, Archana Kamath (PSPB) bt Reeth Rishya (PSPB) 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7,  Sutirtha Mukherjee (Har) bt Shailu Noorbasha (AP) 11-5, 11-7, 11-4, 11-8; (PQF): Mousumi Paul bt Srushti Haleangadi (Mah) 11-, 7-11, 7-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8, 11-6, Sreeja Akula bt Surbhi Patwari (WB) 11-5, 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8, Sagarika Mukherjee bt Harsha Vardhini (RBI) 11-6, 11-8, 11-5, 8-11m 4-11, 13-11, Divya Deshpande bt Amrutha Pushpak (RBI) 11-8, 9-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 12-10, Reeth Risyna bt Pooja Sahasrabudhe 11-4,7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 3-11, 10-12, 11-3, Archana Kamath bt Chipia Frenaz (Guj) 11-6, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9, Shailu Noorbasha bt Ankita Das (PSPB) 5-11, 11-8, 11-7, 12-14, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, Sutiritha Mukherjee bt Anindita Chakraborty (RSPB) 6-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-13, 11-7.


Men Singles (PQF): Manav Thakkar (PSPB) bt Ronit Bhanja (AAI) 11-9, 11-5, 11-8, 5-11, 7-11, 11-3, Sudhanshu Grover (PSPB) bt Sourav Saha (Har) 5-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5, Sushmit Sriram (AAI) bt Jubin Kumar (Har) 9-11, 11-9, 10-12, 12-10, 11-9, 11-7, Nikhil Suresh (TN) bt Anirban Ghosh (PSPB) 11-3, 9-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, Birdie Boro (Asm)  bt Anirban Nandi (RSPB) 11-9, 11-7, 6-11, 11-2, 12-14, 11-8, Ananth Devarajan (TN) bt Siddesh Pandey (Mah) 7-11, 12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 16-14, 9-11, 11-7, Hameet Desai (PSPB) bt Abhishek Yadav (A&AD) 11-8, 11-3, 11-5, 11-7, Anthony Amalraj (PSPB) bt SFR Snehit (AAI) 11-5, 11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7.