TableTennis Inter Institutional Championships Pooja knocks second seed Sutirtha out
Coimbatore(Sports Desk)- Indian Audit’s Pooja Sharma, a qualifier, made a mockery of seeding when she knocked out Sutirtha Mukherjee, seeded second, as did Gujarat’s Chipia Frenaz who sent fifth-seeded Ankita Das packing in first round main draw of the AAI 48th All India Inter-Institutional Championships at the Bharathiar University Indoor Hall.
Pooja won 6-11, 4-11, 7-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-7, 11-9 in what was a come-from-behind act and Chipia rather easily triumphed with a 11-7, 11-5, 11-8, 10-12, 11-6 score-line. But for the two upsets, the remining six women seeds moved into the second round, to be held later tonight.
Pooja, who will next run into her team member Swetha Kumaravel, was almost down and out as the Team India player was just a game away from making progress. But the Audit woman first recovered from the shock of a three-game deficit with a win in the fourth. However, what restored her confidence was the fifth game which she won after deucing at 10-10. From there, Pooja got into a nice rhythm with her blocks and backhand fetching some fine winners.
It was now time for Sutirtha to get shock of her life as the Audit paddler ran up a sizeable lead and attacked relentlessly to level the score. Once the important job done, the matter went to decider where the players traded good counters but Suthirtha’s tentativeness proved to be her Achille’s heel as she was prone to committing mistakes at crucial junctures. They only helped Pooja’s cause as she claimed the last game with minimal points to advance.
In contrast, however, it was an easy outing for the Gujarat qualifier Chipia. She had, more or less, sewn up her match against the seeded Ankita. It was, indeed, a painful loss for someone who represented India at the London Games in 2012, and trying her best to get into shape and form.
Unfortunately, on the day, it was the Gujarat girl who hogged the limelight with her fine attacking game. With a 3-0 cushion, it was just a matter of time for Chipa to roll over Anika. Yet, the latter showed that she still had her fighting qualities intact and took the fourth game on extended points. That was the last glimpse of any fight coming from the Siliguri woman as she wilted and committed several unforced errors to help Chipia go past her untroubled.
Easy for men seeds
As for the men seeds, all eight sailed into the third round after receiving first-round byes. Except for Arjun Ghosh, the third seed, who dropped two games and one game each by fourth-seed Raj Mondal and seventh-seed Jeet Chandra all others toyed with their opponents to register easy victories.
G. Sathiyan, who is seeded 16 by virtue of his world rankings, did drop a game against qualifier Nikhil Suresh of FCI but nothing alarming about the game’s loss for the paddler from Chennai. Like the women, they will also be playing their third round matches tonight.
Arjun Ghosh was leading comfortably 3-0 against Indian Audit’s Vivek Bhargava but fortunes suddenly swung Vivek’s way as he took next two games to give a wake-up call to his AAI opponent. The normally fast Arjun was slowing down which allowed the leeway for Vivek to work his way up. But then Arjun steadied himself in the nick of time to stop Vivek then and there to win 11-9, 11-5, 11-3, 6-11, 5-11, 11-5 and avoid any further embarrassment.
There were few other interesting matches in which Delhi’s Utkarsh Gupta struggled past Soham Bhattacharya of Canara Bank, winning the second round 11-6, 11-9, 11-9, 12-14, 9-11, 11-6, Air India’s Sanish Ambekar beating CRSB’s Sivanand Seshadri 11-5, 9-11, 7-11, 11-2, 13-11, 11-4 and SFR Snehit struggling past Dena Bank’s Abinay Vijay 11-5, 11-9, 14-16, 11-9, 11-13, 11-8.
The only match that went down to the wire was between Delhi’s Parth Virmani who downed Anirban Roy Choudhury of CRSB 11-8, 11-4, 10-12, 5-11, 5-11, 11-7, 13-1. In his next round Parth takes on Sathiyan.