TT Nationals: Top men’s seeds sprout

In the quarterfinals, the Kolkata native ousted 2012 London Games Olympian Ankita Das 11-9, 5-11, 11-9, 13-11, 5-11, 11-2. Krittwika’s appetite for big game was even more pronounced in the pre-quarterfinals where she downed fourth-ranked Divya Deshpande 11-4, 11-9, 11-4, 14-12.

G. Sathiyan paddler won 4-2.   -  R. V. Moorthy

Krittwika Sinha Roy was doubly destructive in the senior National women’s table tennis championships at the Kotla Vijay Bhaskara Reddy indoor stadium on Saturday.

In the quarterfinals, the Kolkata native ousted 2012 London Games Olympian Ankita Das 11-9, 5-11, 11-9, 13-11, 5-11, 11-2. Krittwika’s appetite for big game was even more pronounced in the pre-quarterfinals where she downed fourth-ranked Divya Deshpande 11-4, 11-9, 11-4, 14-12.

“Although Ankita has a strong backhand, my forehand top spin and backhand counters turned things my way,” said Krittwika, an officer in Indian Oil’s administration department in the City of Joy.

“I am a control player. I kept the ball on the table and my errors to a minimum,” the former youth National champion explained of her victory.

“That she had all ends covered was evident in a lightning quick block to a searing smash from Ankita in the dying moments of their contest.

While Ankita got the better of Krittwika in the Patna senior Nationals, the latter had accounted for the former in the youth Nationals at Indore.

“I played freely today and was not under any pressure,” said Roy, who was quick to remember Indranath Bhattacharya, her coach back home. “Vasu sir, Ramchandran sir and Ravi sir in Chennai helped me prepare for this tournament,” she added.

Giant-killing act

Later in the evening, Madhurika Patkar carried out the biggest giant-killing act, toppling defending champion Mouma Das 8-11, 11-2, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-2.

Perhaps under pressure for selection to the pre-Olympics and world team championships, the second seed caved in in a fiercely-fought encounter that went the distance.

The round of 16 was not without its share of upsets.

Devesh Karia of Gujarat and Sudhanshu Grover of Rajasthan, seeded sixth and seventh among the men, fell prey to Subhajit Saha and Jubin Kumar respectively.

On the distaff side, the billings took a bigger beating, as No. 3 and 4 K. Shamini and Divya Deshpande were ousted by Reeth Rishya and Krittwika.

The home side campaign ended when eighth-ranked Nikhat Banu, after being 3-1 up, crashed to seasoned campaigner Mousumi Paul.

Banu’s Telangana compatriots, both among the men and women, had failed to advance beyond the second round.

The results:

Mixed Doubles: Final: Harmeet Desai & Pooja Sahasrabuddhe (PSPB) bt Ronit Bhanja & Ayhika Mukherjee (WB) 3-1 (11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7).

Women’s singles: Quarterfinals: Manika Batra (PSPB) bt Mousumi Paul (WB) 4-2 (8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 15-13, 11-13, 11-4), Krittwika Sinha Roy (WB) bt Ankita Das (PSPB) 4-2 (11-9, 5-11, 11-9, 13-11, 5-11, 11-2), Pooja Sahasrabuddhe (PSPB) bt Reeth Rishya (TN) 4-3 (7-11, 11-8, 5-11, 7-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-4), Madhurika Patkar (Mah) bt Mouma Das (PSPB) 4-3 (8-11, 11-2, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-2).

Harmeet & Pooja take the honours in the mixed doubles category