Sanil Shetty, Sutirtha win titles at National Ranking Table Tennis Championships

A file photo of table tennis player Sutirtha Mukherjee. (PC: TTFI)
A file photo of table tennis player Sutirtha Mukherjee. (PC: TTFI)
Hari Kishore M

Table tennis players Sanil Shetty and Sutirtha Mukherjee emerged champions at the UTT National Ranking Table Tennis Championships in Dehradun on Tuesday.

Sanil Shetty beat top seed Manav Thakkar 4-0 (11-7, 11-8, 11-5, 12-10) while Sutirtha Mukherjee got the better of Reeth Rishya 4-2 (11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7).

Sanil Shetty's 4-0 win comes two years after his Institutional Championships title in December 2019 at Ajmer. Since then, Shetty has become more powerful in attack and his backhand strokes have also improved.

The highly-rated Manav was often caught unaware of Sanil's body attacks that saw little challenge from the Surat table tennis player. Overall, it proved to be a one-man show, with Sanil Shetty emerging as the deserving winner.

Read: Table Tennis National Ranking Championships: Vishwa, Swastika win U-19 titles

In the women's category, Sutirtha began well by dominating in the first two games. However, Reeth, who has shown a lot of promise in recent times, took time to find her rhythm.

The Tamil Nadu-born paddler did recover well and maintained a slender lead in the third game to win it. It restored Reeth's confidence to some extent and she won the next game as well, taking a sizeable lead.

However, Sutirtha, aware of the lurking danger, upped her ante. Reeth wilted under pressure and Sutirtha took home the title.

Sanil & Sutirtha had easy wins in the National Ranking Table Tennis Championships semi-finals

Earlier in the semi-finals, top seed Manav found a nice rhythm against fifth seed Anthony Amalraj of Tamil Nadu. Sitting pretty with a 2-0 lead, he seemed on track to notch up another easy win.

However, Amalraj, the fighter, came back strong to restore parity. Manav then excelled with his close-to-the-table play to wrap up the match 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-8.

Sanil Shetty beat Payas Jain 11-9, 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 in his semi-final match. Exploiting his angles well with good serves, he put Payas in all sorts of trouble.

Also read: Table Tennis National Ranking Championships: Sarthak, Avisha emerge victorious in age-group categories

Payas, unable to anticipate and counter what his left-handed rival would create, fumbled more often than not and lost the match.

In the women's semi-finals, Reeth Rishya and Maharashtra's Diya Chitale dished out wonderful rallies. The Maharashtra paddler had her moments in the second, fourth and fifth games but couldn't cash in on them.

Reeth, seeded third, went with the flow and attacked her opponent to complete a 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9 win.

Sutirtha, seeded ninth, had a firm grip on her semi-final match thanks to an early 3-0 lead against fourth seed Anusha Kutumbale. The Railways’ table tennis player had the right measure of her opponent from Madhya Pradesh, who showed some dynamism, taking the fourth game on extended points.

However, Sutirtha, pressing hard on the gas pedal, finished in style with a 11-5, 11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 11-9 win to enter the final.

Also read: Table tennis rankings: Manika Batra, Archana Kamath achieve best-ever World No. 10 spot

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee


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