South Zone National Ranking Tournament: Manush Shah defeats Sanil Shetty

Unseeded here, Manush’s gritty fightback in the fourth and sixth games showed his defensive abilities.

Table Tennis bat

REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE: Sanil had a matchpoint at 10-9 in the sixth game, but Manush served well and put pressure on Sanil’s backhand to win the game   -  Getty Images

Manush Shah’s current rankings at the domestic (14) and international (402) level is not something to crow about. But the 20-year-old has been working hard and the results of late are testimony to it.

The singles crown in the Ecuador International Open in November this year boosted his confidence. The Gujarat paddler showed a glimpse of his capabilities at the domestic level, too, pulling off an upset against Sanil Shetty (8-11, 11-8, 8-11, 13-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-7), the top seed, in the men’s quarterfinals of the UTT-National Ranking South Zone table tennis tournament at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium on Wednesday.

Unseeded here, Manush’s gritty fightback in the fourth and sixth games showed his defensive abilities. In fact, Sanil had a matchpoint at 10-9 in the sixth game, but Manush served well and put pressure on Sanil’s backhand to win the game. Under pressure, Sanil crumbled in the seventh and deciding game, making quite a few unforced errors on his favourite forehand stroke.

READ | South Zone National Ranking Tournament: Vedhalakshmi upsets Madhurika

“I lost in the pre-quarterfinals in the two previous National-ranking tournaments, and wholeheartedly accepted the losses and learnt from them. My aim is to try and be a part of the Indian team in the 2022 Commonwealth Games,” said Manush.

Maharashtra’s Anannya Basak, who upset Prapti Sen (RSPB), the women’s top seed, in the pre-quarterfinals, went down to Swastika Ghosh in the next round in six games. Similarly, Tamil Nadu’s (TTTA) V. Kowshika defeated fourth-seeded Sutirtha Mukherjee in the round-of-16, but then went on to lose to Ayhika Mukherjee in four straight games.

Earlier, TN’s Vedhalakshmi Devi, who had accounted for Madhurika Patkar in the first round, bowed out in the second to Anusha Kutumbale of Maharashtra in six games.

The results (Quarterfinals):

Men: Manush Shah (Guj) bt Sanil Shetty (PSPB) 8-11, 11-8, 8-11, 13-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-7; Anirban Ghosh (RSPB) bt Anthony Amalraj (PSPB) 11-9, 9-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-6, 2-11, 11-3; Harmeet Desai (Guj) bt Jeet Chandra (AAI) 11-9, 11-13, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7; Shubh Goel (Del) bt Arjun Ghosh (RSPB) 11-7, 13-11, 11-5, 11-6;

Women: Swastika Ghosh (AAI) bt Anannya Basak (Mah) 7-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 11-4, 11-9; Ayhika Mukherjee (RBI) bt Kowshika Venkatesan (TTTA) 11-9, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8; Diya Chitale (Mah) bt Takeme Sarkar (RSPB) 11-13, 11-7, 11-6, 12-10, 11-5; Sreeja Akula (RBI) bt Reeth Rishya (PSPB) 11-5, 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 10-12, 11-7.

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