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Manush's injury pullout leaves door ajar for remaining title aspirants

Bhavnagar, Nov 9 (UNI) Second-seed Manush Shah’s withdrawal in the
round of 32 has not only jeopardised his chance of winning a medal but
also deprived him of valuable points in the UTT National Ranking (Central
Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the SAG Sports Complex here
The Gujarat lad, who suffered some swelling on his playing hand, was
left high and dry in what was a left-handers’ R32 match. In the bargain,
Abhimanyu Mitra of West Bengal profited storming into the
pre-quarterfinals after Manush conceded the match. But for this one
aberration, most of the top seeds advanced to the next round easily but
a few did face some hurdles which they had to overcome boldly.
Similarly, except for Jubin Kumar all other Haryana paddlers made it
to the pre-quarterfinals
This has, in a way, left the door ajar for the remaining men singles
players, including top-seed Sanil Shetty, who beat Mani Subhash of
IA&AD 4-0.
In women singles, if it was a toil for second-seeded Ayhika Mukherjee
against qualifier Frenaz Chipia of Gujarat, fourth-seed Sreeja Akuka,
who is also the women singles winner at Thane, had a tough outing
against Manushree Patil of Maharashtra while for fifth-seed Archana
Kamath the fight back against Surbhi Patwari of West Bengal was
equally tough.
However, all but one seeded player did survive to move into the
pre-quarterfinals. However, seventh-seed Selenadeepthi Selvakumar of
Tamil Nadu was caught on the wrong foot and lost the Round of 32 to
Telangana’s Naina 2-4 despite the former having a bad opening.
It’s another matter that the Telangana girl soon pooh-poohed any
negative thought that might have crossed her mind to go 3-1 up before
dropping her second game to Selena.
In the sixth, however, she stopped the TN girl with a lot to spare.
But Frenaz Chipia of Gujarat must be credited the way she fought two
consecutive rounds—she won 4-3 in a grim first-round battle against
Varuni Jaiswal of Telangana—but the experience of the RBI woman held
her in good stead as Ayhika upped the ante when it was the need of the
hour in the sixth game to disallow any further liberty to Frenaz.
Sreeja, after her fantastic comeback win against Takeme Sarkar in
women single final in the West Zone a few days before, was expected to
roll past Maushree. But the lanky Maharashtra girl had other thoughts
and fought well to stretch her. But it was curtain for Takeme Sarkar,
who had finished runner-up at Thane as she became a victim to Divya
Deshpande guile. But her teammate Pooja Sahasrabudhe, too, struggled
before overcoming Monica Manohar of Telangana 4-2.
But the match between two qualifiers—Moumita Dutta and Nithyashree
Mani—turned out be a marathon which the West Bengal girl won 4-3. In
the decider, the Tamil Nadu girl had her chance but was stopped short
of two points when experience came in handy for Moumuta.
Equally interesting was the match between experienced Mousumi Paul
of PSPB and upcoming Tamil Nadu player, Kowshika Venkatesan, who
had to win her last three games to progress.
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