Balamurugan bags back-to-back title, Hardee earns her first
TTFI Event News 25th-Dec-2021
Pondicherry, December 25:Balamurugan Muthu of Tamil Nadu defeated Priyanuj Bhattacharyya of Assam 4-1 to claim his back-to-back title in the Youth Boys Under-15 in the UTT National Ranking Championships (South Zone) at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium.
The Youth Girls Under-15 crown went to Hardee Patil of Maharashtra when she downed Sharvani Nagam 4-1, denying the Tamil Nadu girl a joint celebration with Balamurugan.
Balamurugan, who won the first title of the season at Dehradun, began well and, despite dropping the second, he troubled his opponent a lot. So dominant was he that he allowed a solitary point to Priyanuj in the third and sealed his fate soon after.
Hardee, winning her maiden crown, also dropped her second game before overcoming resistance from the Tamil Nadu girl. However, it was the first game that set the ball rolling for the Maharashtra paddler. But in the next, Sharvani feasted on unforced errors of her rival and couldn’t do anything further as Hardee went from strength to strength. The Under-15 Boys and Girls semifinals aroused interest with the paddlers putting up a great fighting show. When it looked like a one-sided affair between top-seed Balamurugan and Kushal Chopda, with Balamurugan leading 3-0, Kushal launched himself to pull two back. But the struggling Tamil Nadu boy seized some moments when his Maharashtra rival fed poorly to claim the sixth and move into the final.
Assam’s Priyanuj, on the other hand, let Divyaj Roy, a TTFI wildcard, take charge after a good opening. But the latter failed to press home the advantage and lost the initiative to Divyaj as he pounced on the chances to sweep through in the next three games.
Tamil Nadu’s Sharvani Nagam played superbly to lead over the winner of the previous tournament at Dehradun, Sandika Bhattacharjee. But the top-seed bounced back to win the third and fifth games to throw a few false punches. The alert Sharvani was up to the task and, without wasting time, wrapped up the match in the sixth.
Hardee Patel from Maharashtra defeated Sayani Panda, 4-1 in the second semifinal. The girl from Kolkata’s National Centre of Excellence managed to win the third game but could not sustain against Hardee.
Youth Boys U-15 Singles: Final: Balamurugan Muthu (TNTTA) bt Priyanuj Bhattacharyya 11-7, 13-15, 11-1, 13-11, 11-5.
Semifinals: Balamurugan Muthu bt Kushal Chopda (Mah) 11-9, 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 7-11, 11-8; Priyanuj Bhattacharyya bt Divyaj Roy (TTFI) 11-6, 8-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6, 14-12.
Quarterfinals: Balamurugan Muthu bt Oishik Ghosh (Ben) 11-8, 11-3, 9-11, 12-10; Kushal Chopda bt Aashay Yadav (Mah) 11-7, 11-9, 11-5; Divyaj Roy bt Saikat Sutradahar (Har) 11-8, 11-5, 10-12, 11-8; Priyanuj Bhattacharya bt Neil Mulye (Mah) 15-13, 11-7, 11-8.
Youth Girls U-15 Singles: Final: Hardee Patel (Mah) bt Sharvani Nagam (TTTA) 11-9, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5.
Semifinals: Sharvani Nagam bt Sandika Bhattacharjee (Ben) 12-10, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9; Hardee Patel bt Sayani Panda (NCOE) 11-4, 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10.
Quarterfinals: Sandika Bhattacharjee bt M. Hansini (TNTTA) 13-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-9; Sharvani Nagam bt Prisha Goel (Del0 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9; Sayani Panda bt Nandini Saha (Ben) 11-6, 11-7, 11-4; Hardee Patel bt Jennifer Varghese (Mah) 11-8, 11-8, 11-7.