Table Tennis: Desai, Manika, Ankita enter semis of Brazil Open
Indian paddlers are making their presence felt at the ITTF World Tour Brazil Open being held in Santos, with Harmeet Desai entering the quarterfinals of the men’s singles. Manika Batra and Ankita Das too made it to the last eight in the women’s singles.
Harmeet Desai defeated Brazilian Thiago Monteiro 4-3 (11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 5-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9) in a tough battle Friday to grab the semi-final spot but Soumyajit Ghosh lost to another Brazilian Hugo Calderano 3-4 (7-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 8-11, 8-11).
Earlier, both G. Sathiyan and Nitin Vasanth Philips had exited in the round of 16, losing to Monteiro and Cazuo Matsumoto, respectively. Ghosh had beaten hosts paddler Israel Barreto in straight games to move into the quarterfinals along with Desai who had outlasted Brazilian Humberto Manhani 4-3.
Desai had played exceptionally well to win his pre-quarterfinal and quarterfinal matches, both of which went to the wire. The Indian will now take on local challenter Gustavo Tsuboi in the semifinals.
With both Ankita and Suthirtha Mukherjee finding themselves drawn in the same half had to run into each other in the quarterfinal in which Ankita emerged the winner with a 4-2 (8-11, 12-10, 11-9, 7-11, 11-3, 11-8) verdict. Manika accounted for Jissica Yamada of Brazil 11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5 without much sweat.
In the semifinals, Manika will take on Elizabeta Samara of Romania while Ankita will meet Brazilian Caroline Kumahara.
Meanwhile, Ghosh and Sathiyan have entered the under-21 Boys singles quarterfinals. Ghosh beat Nitin Philips 11-8, 13-11, 11-7, 11-5 and Sathiyan accounted for Desai 12-10, 4-11, 15-13, 4-11, 11-7, 11-7. In the semifinal, Ghosh will take on Sathiyan. In the under-21 girls’ singles semifinal, it will be Suthirtha versus Manika.
The winner of the men and women’s singles will get $4000 while the runner up will receive $2000. The losing semifinals will at least go with $500 each. As for the under-21 event, the singles winner will get $1500 while the runner-up $750. The losing semi-finalists will have to be satisfied with the prize purse of $375.