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Telangana's Snehit sends India's top-seed Sharath Kamal packing from national ranking (North Zone)

Panchkula, Jul 9 (UNI) India No 1 paddler and top seed A. Sharath Kamal must be ruing the walkover he got in the round of 64 as he lost the first match that he played in men singles in the 11Even Sports National Ranking (North Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the Tau Devi Lal Indoor Stadium here on Sunday night.

SFR Snehit of Telangana, playing superbly, beat Kamal in marathon rally 12-10, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9, 5-11, 12-14, 11-8 in what turned out to be a fantastic victory for the young lad.

Sharath gave full credit to Snehit for the way he played some great points and kept the ace paddler on tenterhooks all the time. Leading 3-1, he made few mistakes that allowed Sharath stage a comeback but in the decider Snehit was nicely placed at changeover. From there the

match was going only one way as the Telangana boy maintaining a lead of at least a couple of points stopped Sharath well short to enter the pre-quarterfinals.

Earlier, Snehit beat Vivek Bhargava of Rajasthan rather easily to move into the round of 32.

In one of best comebacks in recent times, K. Shamini ousted Frenaz Chipia of Gujarat with a 11-13, 7-11, 7-11, 19-17, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7. Shamini, returning to arena for the first time after the birth of her baby, was down and out with the Gujarat girl leading comfortably at 3-0. But the fighter in Shamini brought out the best in her as after several deuces and saving a few match points, she launched herself to win the fourth game 19-17. And from there, she was a transformed player.

Shamini earlier defeated veteran Anindita Chakraborty of Railways but Poulomi Ghatak was felled in the second round. Shamini beat Anindita 11-9, 114, 11-8, 11-4 and will take on Chipia Frenaz of Gujrat in the next round. The Gujrat woman beat Yashini Shivasankar of Tamil Nadu 7-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-2, 12-14, 12-10 in a thrilling second round outing.

Poulomi, on the other hand, struggled right from the start and conceded the match to Mallika Bhandarkar of Maharashtra after two games. Even for fifth-seed Divya Deshpande, it was a bit of struggle before she prevailed Telangana’s Varuni Jaiswal 7-11, 12-10, 10-12, 11-7, 11-5, 11-9. Sixth-seeded Ayhika Mukherjee of RBI dropped a game before winning over Soumi Mondal of PSPB 4-1 as did Ankita Das, No. 7 seed, who was extended a bit before winning 12-10, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9,


But it was not a bright start for Anthony Amalraj against North Bengal’s Raja Kundu who took him the full distance as the no. 2 seed scrapped past with a 10-12, 11-6, 11-7, 5-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-4

triumph. Even No. 4 seed Arjun Ghosh had a tough second-round outing against an Assamese qualifier Shankab Barua but in the end Arjun’s experience helped him win 3-11, 11-5, 8-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7. However, other men seeds walked into the round of 32 without a whimper, winning their matches rather easily.

Apart from the match between Snehit and Vivek, the second-round match between H. Jejo of the PSPB Academy and Haryana’s Sourav Saha. The boy from the Academy was all over, posting a lot of troubles to the Haryana lad who mustered courage to win on his second match-point. Jeho put up a very good fight before going down 6-11, 14-12, 8-11, 11-7, 11-1, 6-11, 11-13.

As for women seeds, there was hardly any surprise as all eight seeded players moved into the round of 32, with top-seed Suthirta Mukehrjee beating qualifier Trisha Gogoi of Assam 11-9, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 and No. 2 seed Manika Batra accounting for ESIC’s Nikita Mandula 11-6, 11-3, 11-8, 11-9 in their second-round matches.

Indeed, the top stars were expected to go through which they did inbstyle barring an exception, but there were quite a few interesting matches that went down to the wire.

Among the qualifiers, Radhapriya Goel of UP was stretched fully by Disha Hulawle of Maharashtra but in the end the UP girl won 11-7, 3-11, 11-8, 6-11, 3-11, 171-5, 11-8 in what was a marathon second round. In comparison, Swetha Kumaravel of IA&AD fought well to beat PSPB’s Mousumi Paul 7-11, 11-9, 2-11, 14-12, 8-11, 11-3, 12-10. Anusha Kutumbale of MP, despite putting up a good fight, went down to RBI’s Harshavardhini who won 5-11, 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9.


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