Suhana Saini bags her maiden international title

Indian paddler Suhana Saini won the girls U-15 final at the WTT Youth Contender Otocec Open to win her career's first international title.

Suhana Saini

Suhana Saini was seeded third at the WTT Youth Contender Otocec Open.   -  Special Arrangement

Suhana Saini followed the footprints of Payas Jain and rallied brilliantly from a two-set deficit to emerge as the girls’ under-15 champion in the World Table Tennis Youth Contender at the Sports Centre Otocec, Slovenia, on Friday.

Suhana exacted a sweet revenge as she carved out a fighting 8-11, 4-11, 12-10, 11-8. 11-9 victory over Romania’s Bianca Mei Rosu.

Earlier in the competition, Payas claimed the boys’ under-17 title by beating Germany’s Tom Fabian Schweiger 5-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8. 

According to Suhana’s R. Rajesh, who is accompanying the country's leading sub-junior talent, “I am very happy she could avenge the loss suffered in the recent final of the WTT Youth Contender event in Varazdin (Croatia).” 

On that occasion, Bianca bounced back from 0-2 to win 13-15, 6-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-3.

Suhana, seeded three, defeated Mia Griesel (Germany) in the semifinals, Alesia Sofia Sferlea (Romania) and quarterfinals and Slovenia’s Enya Moltara in the pre-quarterfinals by 3-0 margins.

“I was a little nervous before the match because I had lost twice against her before. I really gave my best to come back, and I am happy to be able to win this tournament in Slovenia. Now I am going to Tunis, and hopefully, I can maintain this level,” said Suhana after the final to the WTT website.

Yashaswini Ghorpade raised visions of giving India another title but narrowly lost her way in the decider of the the girls’ under-17 final to Romania’s Elina Zaharia who won 8-11, 13-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-3.

Yashaswini and Diya Chitale lost in the semifinals of the girls’ under-19, much like Payas fell in the last-four stage of the boys’ under-19.

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