Event Section
Harmeet claims second singles title, Diya her first


Indore, January 5: Harmeet Desai defeated Manush Shah 4-3 in a thrilling final to lift the men’s singles trophy in the UTT National Ranking (Central Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the Abhay Prashal here today.


Incidentally, it was his second title-winning effort this season.


In the women’s singles final, fifth-seed Diya Chitale outsmarted second-seed Reeth Rishya in a match that witnessed excellent rallies and an attacking approach by the paddlers. Diya lifted her maiden trophy.


Harmeet was 2-0 up before left-handed Manush caught up with him to level the score. Soon after, the latter surged into a 3-2 lead, giving a scare to Harmeet. However, the PSPB paddler came with a strong reply in the last two games to shut out the Gujarat man.


Serving for the match a third time, Diya held her nerves. As luck would have it, Reeth put the ball out after a couple of rallies. The PSPB woman, who saved two match-points before, could not deny Diya her maiden crown which Reeth badly wanted to win. It was the second time that Reeth goofed it up after Dehradun.


Diya was 10-8 up in the crucial sixth game. But Reeth saved three game points before Diya claimed it on her fourth attempt to level the score 3-3. The match that saw sharp rallies and excellent attacking play kept everyone pinned to the chairs. Diya, who doesn’t give up easily, fought well and kept her chances alive in the final, as she did in the semifinal earlier in the day.


The men’s singles semifinals fourth and fifth seeds edged out the seventh and ninth seeds in an identical fashion. Both Harmeet Desai and Manush Shah entered the final without hiccups, winning their matches 4-1. But it was a different scenario in the women’s semifinals as winners Diya Chitale and Reeth Rishya, when pushed to the corner, showed their real mettle.


Sreeja Akula, the winner of the women’s singles crown at Pondicherry, comfortably led 3-1. Diya stopped her opponent then and there, shifting the moment her way. The Maharashtrian, matching stroke for stroke with Sreeja, ensured her passage into the final. Sreeja suddenly lost her touch and her weak counters only helped Diya finish her points well.


After Reeth seized the initiative, Delhi’s Lakshita Narang fought back to level the score 2-2. However, Reeth was in no mood to give any negative points and, upping the ante, completed the task with a morale-boosting win.


Ankur, Suhana win titles

In the Youth Under-19 final, Ankur Bhattacharjee of West Bengal defeated Deepit Patil of Maharashtra 4-1 to claim the Boys singles title. The Girls singles crown went to Suhana Saini when she beat Nithyashree Mani of Tamil Nadu 4-2.


The boy from West Bengal proved consistent and managed to lead 3-2. But Deepit took the fifth game when Ankur made far too many unforced errors. Yet, a determined Ankur battled well to finish the final in style.


In the Girls final, Suhana was in sublime touch. The extended second game—Suhana won 18-16—probably drained out Nithyashree as she failed to hit it off. Yet, she recovered to win the next. But she couldn’t do beyond that in the face of a strong Suhana wrapping it up quickly.


In the semifinals, both Delhi boys—Payas Jain and Yashansh Malik—stretched their opponents, Deepit and Ankur, but finished poorly. Similarly, the two Karnataka girls—Anargaya Manjunath and Yashaswini Ghorpade—goofed up the chances of making it to the final.   


Ramesh Mendola, MLA, who is also president of the MP Olympic Association, along with M.P. Singh, Secretary General of the Commonwealth TT Federation, gave away the prizes to the winners, accompanied by MPTTA president Om Soni and Secretary Jayesh Acharya.



MenFinal: Harmeet Desai (PSPB) bt Manush Shah (Guj) 11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 7-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5.


Semifinals: Manush Shah bt Ronit Bhanja (AAI) 11-9, 11-5, 11-8, 5-11, 12-10; Harmeet Desai bt FRS Snehit (Telg) 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8.


WomenFinal: Diya Chitale (Mah) bt Reeth Rishya (PSPB) 7-11, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10, 7-11, 12-11, 11-8.


Semifinals: Diya Chitale bt Sreeja Akula (RBI) 8-11, 11-8, 8-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-3, 11-4; Reeth Rishya bt Lakshita Narang (Del) 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-3.


Youth Boys U-19Final: Ankur Bhattacharjee (Ben) bt Deepit R Patil (Mah) 11-5, 3-11, 11-5, 12-10, 4-11, 11-9.


Semifinals: Deepit Patil bt Payas Jain (Del) 2-11, 14-12, 11-13, 11-5, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6; Ankur Bhattacharjee bt Yashansh Malik (Del) 9-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5.


Youth Girls U-19Final: Suhana Saini (Har) bt Nithyashree Mani (TTTA) 11-5, 18-16, 4-11, 11-8, 11-7.


Semifinals: Nithyashree Mani bt Yashaswini Ghorpade (Kar) 11-9, 12-10, 7-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-7; Suhana Saini bt Anargaya Manjunath (Kar) 12-10, 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 7-11, 11-8.