TT Nationals: Manika, Sutirtha advance in contrasting styles

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Panchkula, Feb 16 (PTI) Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manika Batra toiled for five sets before overcoming qualifier Kajol Ramjali in the first round of the 82nd Senior National Table Tennis Championships here on Tuesday.

Manika won 13-11, 11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 11-3 to move into the round of 32.

However, second seed Sutirtha Mukherjee 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, she 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 too, 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 in straight games (11-3, 11-2, 11-2, 15-13). No. 3 seed Ayhika Mukherjee dropped just a game against Punjab's Aarushi Arora before wrapping it up 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 T.R. 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.

The 14th seed was in trouble when she dropped the opening game before picking herself up. Madhurika led 3-1 against the Karnataka girl, but the latter won the fifth game after giving her a scare.

Madhurika's experience held her in good stead in the sixth, which she won.

K. Shamini 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. PTI APA AH AH