Senior Nationals: Top seed Manika loses to Ayhika

Diya Chitale, the second seed, bows out to 38-year-old Mouma Das; Soumyajit Ghosh beats Harmeet Desai.

Ayhika Mukherjee reacts after defeating Manika Batra in the pre-quarterfinals.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Manika Batra, India’s star paddler and the top seed, bit the dust in the women’s singles pre-quarterfinals of the Senior National table tennis championships here on Sunday, losing to Ayhika Mukherjee of RBI 7-11, 11-8, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5, 11-13, 11-3. Ayhika will take on Moumita Dutta of Bengal-A.

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Following in Manika’s footsteps was Diya Chitale of Maharashtra-A, the second seed. The 19-year-old year-old was outsmarted by Mouma Das, the 38-year-old, playing her first tournament after three years since becoming a mother.

Mouma, a five-time National champion, fought back after being down by three games to nil to win 10-12, 8-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 and advance to the quarterfinals. Mouma will next face Anusha Kutumbale of Madhya Pradesh.

In the men’s pre-quarterfinals, former National champion Soumyajit Ghosh of Haryana upset Harmeet Desai (PSPB), the third seed, 11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 6-11, 11-4, 13-11.

The results (pre-quarterfinals)
  • Men: A. Sharath Kamal bt K. J. Akash (Kar) 4-0; Sourava Saha (Har) bt Soham Bhattacharya (Ker) 4-3; Manush Shah (Guj) bt A. Amalraj (PSPB) 4-3; Soumyajit Ghosh (Har) bt Harmeet Desai (PSPB) 4-1; Sanil Shetty (PSPB) bt Jeet Chandra (Har) 4-1; Anirban Ghosh (RSPB) bt Yashansh Malik (Del) 4-3; Manav Thakkar (PSPB) bt Sudanshu Grover (Del) 4-2; G. Sathiyan (PSPB) bt Deepit Rajesh Patil (Mah-A) 4-0.
  • Women: Ayhika Mukherjee (RBI) bt Manika Batra (PSPB) 4-3; Moumita Dutta (Ben-A) bt Yashaswini Ghorpade (Kar) 4-0; Swastika Ghosh (Mah-A) bt Krittwika Sinha Roy (PSPB) 4-1; Akula Sreeja (RBI) bt Sagarika Mukherjee (RSPB) 4-1; Reeth Rishya (PSPB) bt Sutirtha Mukherjee (RSPB) 4-3; Takeme Sarkar (RSPB) bt S. Yashini 4-2; Anusha Kutumbale (MP) bt Poymantee Baisya (Ben-A) 4-1; Mouma Das (PSPB) bt Diya Chitale (Mah-A) 4-3.

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