North Zone TT: Moumita grabs girls' title in Bengal's sweep
New Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) Moumita Dutta defeated A. Naina 4-3 in a thrilling final to annex the sub-junior girls crown, thus completing the sweep by West Bengal paddlers in the ongoing Vatika North Zone National Ranking Table Tennis Championships here at the Hansraj Model School.
But the title triumph for the West Bengal girl came Sunday after some real haggle as Andhra Pradesh’s Naina, a bright paddler, kept herself always in the game giving several headaches during the final.
In fact, Naina started by taking the first game but Moumita surged ahead with the 2-1 lead soon after.
Naina’s push and prod in the two games saw Moumita gaining ascendancy and the Andhra girl arrested the problem immediately after to make it 2-2. But the see-saw battle saw leads changing hands even as Moumita kept a tight leash on her opponent. Naina had to really muster courage in the sixth game to stop her rival at 11-8 to take the issue to the decider.
In the decider, both began cautiously but what made the difference in the ultimate analysis was that Moumita was back at her attacking best as Naina failed to counter the West Bengal girl’s scorching forehands.
“She was too good. I made too many mistakes in the last game and it was really hard for me to come back,” Naina said, giving full credit to the winner.
The group matches in the junior sections threw up 24 boys and 20 girls who have joined the top eight in the main draw. Though there was no surprise among the qualifiers but their real worthiness will be known only when they play Monday in the main draw, which is of 32 players each.
Lalrin Puia and Abhishek Yadav have been seeded one and two in the Junior Boys section while it will be Sagarika Mukherjee and Priyadarshani Das who have been accorded the pride of places as per their national ranking.
The other seeds in the boys’ category include Sabhay Virmani, Utkarsh Gupta, Birdie Boro, Manav Thakkar, Nishaad Shah and Ronit Bhanja.
AnuskhaDutta, Ayhika Mukerjee, Yukte Roshni, Sreeja Aluka, Riti Shankar and Sumana Saha follow the girls’ seeding in that order behind the top two seeds
As for the men and women’s fare, the qualification matches were in progress with the main draw slated for Monday.
However, there was one aberration with No. 1 youth girl, Suthirtha Mukherjee, was stunned by qualifier Charvi Kawle of Mahrashtra. For Suthirtha, who is also among the top 16 in the women’s category, the 2-3 loss must sting her very badly. Charvi won 11-6, 11-6, 6-11, 11-13, 11-4 in Group 4.
With players having been divided into groups, 24 group toppers will join the top 10 in the men’s main draw, while 18 qualifiers will mingle with the elite 10, who are directly seeded, in the women’s singles. With a match to go, it remains to be seen if Suthirtha makes the cut.
With top paddlers like Sharath Kamal, Soumyajit Ghosh, Harmeet Desai, Anthony Amalraj skipping the zonal here, it is a good opportunity for those in fray to go for the biggest prize purse and the title. But in the women’s singles, it could be anybody’s title with all top paddlers are training their guns for the crown.