Central Zone TT: Ronit and Snehit enter semifinals

Ronit Bhanja and F.R.S. Snehit pulled off upsets in the men’s singles quarterfinals of the UTT National-ranking Central Zone National ranking table tennis tournament.

File picture of Ronit Bhanja.   -  Special Arrangement

Ronit Bhanja (AAI) and Telangana’s F.R.S. Snehit pulled off upsets in the men’s singles quarterfinals of the UTT National-ranking Central Zone National ranking table tennis tournament here on Wednesday.

While Ronit roared back from 0-3 down to turn the tables on top seed Sanil Shetty (PSPB) 10-12, 9-11, 9-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7, Snehit rallied from a 1-3 deficit to knock out second seed Manav Thakkar (PSPB) 6-11, 11-6, 11-13, 3-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8.

Battling back from the brink, Ronit returned exceptionally well at crucial points in the sixth game. Ronit produced some amazing winners on the forehand side during rallies too. Most importantly, he didn’t buckle under pressure in the decider against a quality player like Sanil. Taking an 8-6 lead, he continued to put his opponent on the backfoot with solid forehand top-spin shots.

Earlier, 17-year-old Lakshita Narang of Delhi entered her maiden women’s semifinal of the season, accounting for Krittwika Sinha Roy of Gujarat 12-10, 11-2, 8-11, 7-11, 11-7, 12-10.

Two players test positive

Eighth seed Soumyajit Ghosh (Haryana) and Prapti Sen of Railways, seeded third, tested positive for COVID-19 and had to withdraw from their pre-quarterfinal matches.

The results (quarterfinals)

Men: Ronit Bhanja (AAI) bt Sanil Shetty (PSPB) 10-12, 9-11, 9-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7; Manush Shah (Guj) bt Yashansh Malik (Del) 16-14, 11-3, 11-7, 11-3; Harmeet Desai (Guj) bt Anirban Ghosh (RSPB) 11-6, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8; F. R. S Snehit (TS) bt Manav Thakkar 6-11, 11-6, 11-13, 3-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8.

Women: Sreeja Akula (RBI) bt Anusha Kutumbale (MP) 11-6, 11-4, 11-6, 12-10; Diya Chitale (Mah) bt Takeme Sarkar (RSPB) 8-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-6, 13-11, 10-12, 11-8; Lakshita Narang (Del) bt Krittwika Sinha Roy (Guj) 12-10, 11-2, 8-11, 7-11, 11-7, 12-10; Reeth Rishya (PSPB) bt Yasashwini Ghorpade (Kar) 8-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 11-4.

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