Event Section
2 men, 3 women seeds fall; 3 others just sprout


Manesar (Haryana), February 4: Jubin Kumar of Haryana, seeded seventh, bowed out to Gujarat’s Devesh Karia in the pre-quarterfinals while and eighth seeded Manav Thakkar went out a round earlier in the men singles of the 78th 11Even Sports Senior Nationals was released at the Manesar Sports Club here today.


The surprise did not end here as third seed Anthony Amalraj and fifth-seed Harmeet Desai ran into rough weather before reaching the shores as their opponents, Sougata Sarkar of West Bengal and Gujarat’s Jignesh Jaiswal, respectively, threatened to erode their base. The two seeds survived, winning their matches 4-3 to move into the quarterfinals.


Just before them, sixth seed Soumyajit Ghosh, comfortably leading 3-0 and 5-5, survived a scare from Abhishek Yadav to win 4-2. In comparison, it was an easy and quick ride into the last eight stages for Sharath Kamal, G. Sathiyan and Sanil Shetty. Unseeded Subhajit Saha advanced beating unseeded Sourav Saha of Haryana 4-1.


Amalraj was down 2-3 but Sougata failed to press home the advantage and let his opponent off the hook. But credit must be given to Amalraj for keeping a cool head to make a steady progress. But Harmeet was under tremendous pressure as Jignesh led 3-0. But somewhere along the line, the latter committed several unforced errors to give a leeway to Harmeet. Even in the decider, Jignesh saw chance coming his way at 7-7 after being down 5-7 but Harmeet finished the game and match well.


Jubin ran Devesh Karia too close for the comfort of the Gujarat paddler as they took the odd and event games, matching each other using the double flanks well and playing good rallies with exquisite conversion of winners. In the decider, Jubin led briefly and made it 8-8 only to make some silly mistakes. He just about managed a point while Devesh, holding his nerves, completed the job.


Ghosh went blank for a while before resurrecting himself against Abhishek who slowly clawed his way back into the match. But then the Haryana paddler quickly arrested his advance, much to the relief of the hosts.


Top women seed Madhurika, who survived a second round scare from Tamil Nadu’s Selenadeepthi Selvakumar, struggled to overcome West Bengal’s Moumita Dutta 4-2, even as former national champion Poulomi Ghatak, who beat Takeme Sarkar 4-0, Manika Batra, who outwitted AninditaChakraborty 4-2, Shreya Ghosh, who downed Karnataka’s Swetha Kumaravel 4-2, and Nikhat Banu, who rolled past Sreeja Akula 4-1, entered the quarterfinals with three other pre-quarterfinals matches yet to be completed.


Earlier in the second round, six-time national champion and third seed Mouma bit the dust, going down to West Bengal’s Shreya Ghosh 15-13, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9. She was followed by fourth and seventh seeds Mousumi Paul and Reeth Rishya, both of PSPB. But the biggest upset of the day, undoubtedly, was unseeded Archana Kamath of AAI, upstaging second seed Suthirtha Mukherjee. Archana, who led 3-0, allowed the Institutional champion, stage a brief comeback before sending her packing in the sixth game for 11-7, 12-14, 11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 11-6.


Suthirtha, normally known for playing an attacking game, was too pedestrain today, particularly in the six game. She got a lone winner off a forehand storke; otherwise whatever she managed were all because of the gifts from Archana, who failed to press home the early advantage. She will now take on former national champion Poulomi Ghatak in the quarterfinals.


Pooja Sahastrabuddhe beat AAI's Ayhika Mukherjee, after some struggle, 11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-9, Krittiwika Sinha Roy ousted eighth seed and former national champion Ankita Das 11-6, 13-4, 3-11, 11-8, 12-10.


Leading results (prefix denotes seeding):


Men (pre-quarterfinals): 1-Sharath Kamal bt Sarthak Gandhi 11-9, 11-9, 11-4, 11-8; Subhajit Saha bt Sourav Saha 11-9, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9; 5-Harmeet Desai bt Jignesh Jaiswal 6-11, 9-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7; 4-Sanil Shetty Ronit Bhanja 11-7, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6. 3-A. Amalraj bt Sougata Sarkar 8-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 10-12, 11-4, 11-5; 6-Soumyajit Ghosh bt Abhishek Yadav 11-9, 11-4, 14-12, 8-11, 8-11, 11-6; Devesh Karia bt 7-Jubin Kumar 13-11, 11-6, 8-11, 7-11, 13-11, 9-11, 11-9; 2-G. Sathiyan bt Raj Mondal 11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9; (second round): Sourav Saha bt 8-Manav Thakkar 6-11, 11-7, 11-5, 13-15, 11-7, 11-8.  


Women (second round): Sreeja Akula bt 4-Mousumi Paul 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-8; Shreya Ghosh bt 3-Mouma Das 15-13, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9; Takeme Sarkar bt 7-Reeth Rishya 13-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9.