National-ranking Table Tennis: Tough opener for Amalraj; Easy for Manika

A walkover for Sharath Kamal, an easy passage for Manika Batra and a testing campaign-opener greeted A. Amalraj at the National ranking table tennis championship.

Manika expectedly eased past Nikitha Mandula 11-6, 11-3, 11-8, 11-9. (File Picture)   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

A walkover for Sharath Kamal, an easy passage for Manika Batra and a testing campaign-opener greeted A. Amalraj soon after these 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallists landed in the city for the National ranking table tennis championship here on Sunday.

A little later, the defeat of eighth seed Raj Mondal in five sets to Nikhil Suresh made things further easy for Sharath in the top-quarter of the draw. The gritty Tamil Nadu lad won 11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 11-4, 11-5 to cause the first big upset of the competition.

In the last quarter, where second seed Amalraj is staring at a likely clash against seventh seed Sanil Shetty for a place in the semifinals, North Bengal’s Raja Kundu almost took out the former. Amalraj, twice bounced back from being a set-down to beat Kundu 10-12, 11-6, 11-7, 5-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-4.

Manika expectedly eased past Nikitha Mandula 11-6, 11-3, 11-8, 11-9. A surprise name in women’s round of 32 was 15-year-old Diya Chithale who overpowered Tamil Nadu’s N. Deepika 11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8 to set up a clash with fifth seed Ayhika Mukherjee.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :