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Manika Batra toils to beat Archana Kamath in UTT 82nd Senior National TT

Balbir Singh | February 18, 2021 04:08 PM

PANCHKULA:Manika Batra avenged her defeat against Archana Kamath to move into the semifinals of the UTT 82nd Senior National Table Tennis Championships at the Tau Devi Lal Indoor Stadium in Sector 3 here today. Manika won 4-3.

The top-seed had to labour to save her skin and she did it admirably after slipping from the 2-0 comfort zone. Archana fought back really well to level and go up 3-2. But changing gears, Manika showed her intent loud and clear, first in the sixth game she held four games points and in decider she was a runaway winner, reports Table Tennis Federation of India.

 Archana made far too many errors in the sixth game which allowed Manika to breathe easy. At 10-6 Manika knew she had stitched it nicely to disentangle herself from all negative thoughts. And, in the decider, she didn’t have to do much as Archana’s errors kept growing and Manika pulled the shutters down on the Karnataka girl.

Manika will take on Sreeja Akula, who beat Prapti Sen 4-3, in another tight match. Sreeja gained upper hand after being 0-2 down and stamped her authority with two fine games to level score 2-2. Then she dropped one before regaining upper hand to wrap it up. Takeme Sarkar of the Railways started off well before letting Pooja Sahasrabudhe a 2-1 advantage. But the Railways girl stroked her way to the semifinals when she took the next three games to seal Pooja’s fate.

 Reeth, who accounted for second-seed Sutirtha Mukheree in the pre-quarterfinals, had hiccups but soon came to herself to finish in style with a 4-2 verdict against Kaushani Nath.

 In the pre-quarterfinals, defending champion and second-seeded Sutirtha Mukherjee flattered to deceive and went down 3-4 to PSPB’s Reeth Rishya. But Archana was fortunate to escape defeat at the hands of TTFI wildcard entrant Anusha Kutumbale who failed to press home the advantage. The ninth seed led 3-0 but the girl from Madhya Pradesh managed to pull herself up and restore parity. In the decider, Archana became wiser after the events and her changed strategy brought instant dividends.

Top-seeded Manika Batra pooh-poohed early warnings from Sagarika Mukherjee of Railways, with a 4-0 verdict. Prapti Sen, like Sreeja Akula, warded off early threats but the rest of the higher seeds played according to the script. Reeth was down and out at 0-3. But the PSPB paddler rose from the awkward position to gather herself and turn the tables on Sutirtha. Reeth found it difficult to adjust but her change of plan brought pressure on the Haryana girl who wilted under the mounting pressure.

 The Archana match was a touch and go affair. Anusha, unable to comprehend Archana’s backhand, took time to adjust. The Karnataka girl ran up a 3-0 lead, but Anusha sized up her well enough to fight back into the match. In the decider, however, Archana hit the groove to put it across Anusha.

 Earlier in the day, three other seeds tumbled in the round of 32.  No. 3 seed Ayhika lost to Pooja Sahasrabudhe 4-2, 14th seed Madhurika Patkar went down to Poymantee Baisya 3-4, and former national champion Ankita Das was shown the door by seventh-seeded Kaushani Nath.

 RESULTS:Women singles (PQF): Manika Batra (PSPB) bt Sagarika Mukherjee (RSPB) 12-10, 11-5, 11-5, 11-6, Archana Kamath (Kar) bt Anusha Kutumbale (TTFI) 11-3, 11-5, 11-9, 4-11, 9-11, 2-11, 11-3, Prapti Sen (Ben) bt Shruti Amrute (RSPB) 7-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9, 11-3, Sreeja Akula (RBI) bt Diya Chitale (Mah) 6-11, 14-12, 12-10, 11-9, 6-11, 13-11, Pooja Sahasrabudhe (Mah) bt Poymantee Baisya (Beng) 11-6, 11-8, 13-11, 11-8, Takeme Sarkar (RSPB) bt Krittwika Sinha 11-6, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 13-11, Kaushani Nath (RSPB) bt Varuni Jaiswal 8-11, 16-14, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4, Reeth Rishya (PSPB) bt Sutirtha Mukherjee (Har) 6-11, 11-9, 7-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6.

 Quarterfinals: Manika Batra bt Archana Kamath 13-11, 11-9, 4-11, 5-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-4, Akula Sreeja Akula bt Prapti Sen 7-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, Takeme Sarkar bt Pooja Sahasrabudhe 11-8, 9-11, 1-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9, Reeth Rishya bt Kaushani Nath 11-2, 6-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9.

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