Top-seeded Madhurika Patkar clocked up a facile win over Shweta Parte to sail into the womens singles pre-quarterfinals of the Sports National Ranking Table Tennis Championships at the Veer Savarkar Municipal Corporation Stadium here on Friday.
The Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) paddler defeated her Reserve Bank of India (RBI) rival 8-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-8, 11-9. Madhurika will next take on Maharashtra's Shruti Amrute, who accounted for West Bengal's Moumita Datta 11-5, 5-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-7 in the round of 16.
For fourth-seeded Manika Batra, who won the singles crown at Indore, it was a setback of sorts as Tamil Nadu's Vidya Narasimhan took two games off her before the PSPB girl won 11-4, 5-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-8 to go through.
Former national champions Mouma Das and Poulomi Ghatak, too advanced, but Ghatak struggled against Haryana's Sanya Sehgal. The PSPB girl won 11-6, 9-11, 6-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-3, 11-6. For Mouma it was an easy 4-1 win against RBI's Pallabi Kundu.
Madhurika was rusty to begin with and it was showing in her first game as Shweta didn't have to labour much to win it.
Nevertheless, the top seed soon settled down and started unleashing her combination strokes which proved to Shweta's undoing. Unable to contend even with innocuous blocks, the RBI woman lost her grip. She, however, put up some resistance in the fourth and fifth games but it was too late for a comeback.
Moumita, who accounted for Archana Kamath in group stages on Thursday, was found wanting against the left-handed Shruti. Despite restoring parity, the West Bengal girl was unable to cope with the Maharashtra paddlers steady but crisp forehands.
Nikhat Banu, who survived a good scare from Tanisi Kirtani of Goa on the opening day, moved into the pre-quarters after some initial hiccups when she defeated AAI's Chipia Frenaz 7-11, 14-12, 11-5, 11-6, 11-9.
The girls from Gujarat not only took the first game but also managed to extend Nikhat in the second. But the Telangana girl won the second after three deuces which propelled her to the next round. She will run into PSPB's Ankita Das who blanked Delhi's Garima Goyal.
Though Mouusumi Paul struggled against RSPB's Ashlesha Trehan in hter 4-2 win, she will have to contend with PSPB's Krittwika Sinha Roy in the pre-quarters. Krittwika rolled over Rajasthan's Priyanka Pareek 4-0.
Meanwhile, the men's singles draw, which is of 64 players, saw a liberal spread of byes but among the ones that had failed to go past the first round included AAI's Anirban Ghosh, who was outwitted by West Bengal's Surajit Das.
He played brilliantly and pinned Anirban to a distance from the table which enabled the West Bengal boy stage a fine recovery after being 1-2 down and win 4-2.
Maharashtra's Anish Ambekar, too, entered the second round of the main draw beating Delhi's Peeyush Prasad 11-4, 16-14, 11-6, 10-12, 11-9. The young paddler from Mumbai outlasted his Delhi opponent, particularly in the second game, which saw several deuces and both squandering three game points each.
Promising Birdie Boro from PSPB really struggled against State Bank of Patiala's Vineet Chopra before subduing him 9-11, 5-11, 11-12, 6-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7.
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