Tribune News Service
Panchkula, February 16
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manika Batra struggled for five sets before overcoming qualifier Kajol Ramjali in the opening round of the 82nd Senior National Table Tennis Championships at Tau Devi Lal Stadium here on Tuesday.
Manika won 13-11 11-9 11-5 7-11 11-3 to move into the round of 32.
Second seed Sutirtha Mukherjee, though, hardly dropped a sweat against Kushi Jain of Madhya Pradesh. The Haryana paddler and reigning champion won 11-5 11-3 11-8 11-7.
Archana Kamath, seeded ninth, was at sea in her contest against Swastika Ghosh, a TTFI wildcard entrant. Archana, with some consternation, beat her rival 13-15 12-10 11-9 4-11 13-11 11-5.
In contrast, Diya Chitale disposed off Vidya Narasimhan of Tamil Nadu 11-4 11-6 11-9 11-4.
Manika’s win was never in doubt, but Kajol kept herself in the game with some wonderful forehands, which somewhat unsettled the CWG medallist. But riding her experience, Manika overcame her Andhra rival.
Archana found herself caught on the wrong foot right from the start. In the first game, she deuced and then went up 11-10, holding a game point. But Swastika won the game 15-13.
In the second game, Archana struggled to land her returns but still managed to restore parity. She seemed relieved after going 2-1 up only to drop the next game. But she gained confidence after winning the fifth set and it helped her wrap up the next.
For fourth seed Sreeja Akula, Assam’s Akanshya Bhuyan was no match. The RBI player won 11-3 11-2 11-2 15-13.
No. 3 seed Ayhika Mukherjee dropped just a game against Punjab’s Aarushi Arora before wrapping up the match 11-5 11-7 11-4 6-11 11-4.
It was easy for 11th seed Takeme Sarkar who beat Bhavana Menon of Kerala 11-9 12-10 11-3 15-13. Sixth seed Krittwika Sinha Roy followed suit with an 11-6 11-6 11-5 11-8 triumph over TR Shruthi of TTTA.
Former national champion Madhurika Patkar accounted for Yashaswini Ghorpade of Karnataka after dropping two games to win 7-11 11-4 11-2 12-10 9-11 11-7.
K Shamini, however, was not that fortunate and exited from the tournament after losing her first round match to Varuni Jaiswal. The Telangana girl won 11-8 9-11 11-6 12-10 11-6.
Ankita Das, another former national champion, won 8-11 11-4 11-3 7-11 11-6 11-7 against Snehal Patil of Maharashtra, though not convincingly.
Tenth seed Selenadeepthi Selvakumar of TTTA beat Maria Rony of Karnataka 11-5 11-8 11-9 14-12.