Event Section
Ankur and Taneesha end season with title-wins


Indore, January 7: Ankur Bhattacharjee of West Bengal lifted the Youth Under-17 Boys singles trophy, and unseeded Taneesha Kotecha of Maharashtra, making most of the opportunity, won her maiden title in the UTT National Ranking (Central Zone) Table Tennis Championships that concluded here at the Abhay Prashal today.


Rounding off the season on a winning note, Ankur beat K.J. Akash of Karnataka 4-1 for his second title. His authority was never in doubt, as the scoreline would indicate. Though Akash pulled one back in the third, he was never in the match as Ankur piled on his agony with a clinical performance.


In the all-Maharashtra Girls final, Taneesha came out trumps to wear her crown in the last of the season’s ranking championships. In the bargain, she defeated the only seed remaining in the fray, Pritha Vartikar, 4-1.


The two strong backhand players did well to share games before Taneesha hit the rhythm that bewildered the third-seeded Pritha. Almost all their negative points came via the forehands as they relied on the backhand game. However, they need to develop their forehand skills to survive and sustain themselves against tough players. The only advantage today for the Nasik girl was her percentage play which took her to the title. Pritha, on the other hand, proved error-prone in her anxiety to counterattack.


In the Girls semifinals, Taneesha continued good form to beat state-mate and fourth-seed Jennifer Varghese 4-1 after leading 2-0. Jennifer, though won the third game, never came to grips with the flow of the match with Taneesha firmly in control.  


Pritha Vartikar, also from Maharashtra, toiled in the second semifinal before overcoming Kavyashree Baskar of Tamil Nadu. The tall Tamil Nadu girl had everything going in her favour when she led 3-0. However, Pritha’s calculated attack on the lanky opponent paid off, forcing Kavyashree into making several unforced errors. Pritha never looked back.


By the semifinals, all but one seed survived. The biggest upset of the match was the exit of top-seed Suhana Saini, who went down to unseeded Taneesha Kotecha 1-4. In the Boys quarterfinals, unseeded Rohith Shankar of Karnataka sent defending champion Divyansh Srivastav packing home, followed by third, fourth, and seventh seeds Jash Modi, Shankdip Das and Aadarsh Om Chhetri. Top-seed Divyansh had a 3-1 lead before surrendering to the guile of Rohith.


Sixth-seed Sarth Mishra also bowed out when second-seed Ankur Bhattacharjee accounted for him, leaving the fight in the last hurdle between Karnataka’s Akash and West Bengal’s Ankur, also the title-winner at Dehradun.




Youth Boys U-17Final: Ankur Bhattacharjee (Ben) bt KJ Akash (Kar) 11-5, 11-7, 7-11, 11-4, 11-6.


Semifinals: K.J. Akash bt Rohith Shankar (Kar) 8-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-1, 11-13, 11-8, 11-8; Ankur Bhattacharjee bt Sarth Mishra (UP) 11-5, 11-5, 11-3, 11-7.


Quarterfinals: Rohith Shankar bt Divyansh Srivastava (UP) 12-14, 10-12, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9; KJ Akash bt Shankhdip Das (Ben) 11-8, 11-6, 11-9, 14-12; Sarth Mishra bt Jash Modi (Mah) 10-12, 9-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9; Ankur Bhattacharjee bt Aadarsh Om Chhetri (Del) 13-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-3.


Youth Girls U-17Final: Taneesha Kotecha (Mah) bt Pritha Vartikar (Mah) 13-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6.


Semifinals: Taneesha Kotecha bt Jennifer Varghese (Mah) 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 12-10; Pritha Vartikar bt Kavyashree Baskar (TTTA) 7-11, 8-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-3, 13-11, 12-10.


Quarterfinals: Taneesha Kotecha bt Suhana Saini (Har) 13-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-4; Jennifer Varghese bt Nandini Saha (Ben) 11-3, 8-11, 8-11, 5-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-8; Pritha Vartikar bt Nehal Venkatasamy (TTTA) 11-9, 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3; Kavyashree Baskar bt Sayanika Maji (Del) 13-11, 11-9, 11-6, 5-11, 11-4.