Manika Batra and Diya Chitale stretch at the National Table Tennis Championship

The top two seeds in women’s singles transpired in the second round of the Senior National Table Tennis Championships here on Saturday. It was also a day when all eight female seeds advanced to the third round (Rd-32).

PSPB’s Manika Batra and Diya Chitale of Maharashtra, seeded No. 1 and No. 2 here, had to struggle to defeat PSPB’s Riti Shankar (Haryana) and Divya Deshpande respectively.

Manika lost the first two games but won the other four to win in six games, 6-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7, 11-1 and advance to the knockout stages . .

Manika and Riti have been teammates for many years and training partners, under coach Sandeep Gupta; Riti still trains under Sandeep.

With both using long buttons on their lapels, there were quite a few long rallies. Manika made a lot of unforced errors early on but got it all under control midway through Game 5.

Roller Coaster Ride: Diya had the rod before Divya made a fist of it.  But the first had the last word.

Roller Coaster Ride: Diya had the rod before Divya made a fist of it. But the first had the last word. | Photo credit: RITU RAJ KONWAR

Leading 3-1, Diya was riding high, before Divya retaliated by putting relentless pressure on Diya’s backhand, backed up by strong counterattacks to win the next two games. However, in the decider, Diya upped the ante with an 8-0 lead and prevailed 13-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 8-11, 5-11, 11-3.

Making a comeback after three years, Mouma Das (PSPB) beat Ruja Paul (Bengal-B) 11-7, 13-11, 11-9, 11-9.

Meanwhile, the selection committee formed by CoA will meet on April 25 (Monday) after the championships.

The results (second round): Women: Manika Batra v Riti Shankar (Har) 6-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7, 11-1; Diya Chitale (Mah-A) against Divya Deshpande (PSPB) 13-11,7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 8-11, 5-11, 11-3; Mouma Das (PSPB) against Ruja Paul (Ben-B) 11-7, 13-11, 11-9, 11-9; Swastika Ghosh (Mah-A) vs. Suhana Narjinary (UP) 11-6, 11-6, 11-5, 11-9; Prapti Sen (RSPB) v Kokila (TNTTA) 6-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-, 11-8; Anusha Kutumbale (MP) v Charvi Kawle (FCI) 11-2, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 4-11, 11-5; Akula Sreeja (RBI) v Prajakta Tipale (LIC) 11-5, 11-7, 10-12, 12-14, 11-7, 11-9; Reeth Rishya (PSPB) v Tisha Kohli (Del) 11-3, 11-3, 11-8, 11-4; Takeme Sarkar (RSPB) v Shailu Noorbasha (MC & IT) 2-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 11-4.

Men: Soham Bhattacharya (Ker) v Arjun Ghosh (RSPB) 4-11, 10-12, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9; KJ Akash v Payas Jain (Del) 8-11, 5-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5.

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