Harmeet Desai and Diya Chitale were crowned champions in the men’s and women’s singles category respectively at the UTT National Ranking (Central Zone) Table Tennis Championships.
Harmeet defeated Manush Shah 4-3 (11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 7-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5) in a thrilling final. Fifth-seed Diya outsmarted second-seed Reeth Rishya 4-3 (7-11, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10, 7-11, 12-11, 11-8). Diya’s match witnessed excellent rallies and attacking approach by both paddlers.
It was Harmeet’s second singles title, while for Diya it was her maiden trophy.
Harmeet took an early 2-0 lead before Manush caught up with him to restore parity. Soon after, the latter surged into a 3-2 lead, giving Harmeet a scare.
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However, Harmeet came up with a strong reply in the last two games to shut out the Gujarat paddler.
In the women’s singles final, Diya held her nerves to win a pulsating final. Reeth Rishya saved two match points but could only send the ball out after a couple of rallies in the third to hand the title to Diya.
In the crucial sixth game, Diya was 10-8 up but Reeth saved three game points before the former won the game on her fourth game point to level the match at 3-3.
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The match saw sharp rallies and excellent attacking play and kept everyone on their tenterhooks. Diya fought well and kept her chances alive in the final.
Deepit, Suhana win U-19 titles
Ankur Bhattacharjee of West Bengal defeated Deepit Patil of Maharashtra 4-1 (11-5, 3-11, 11-5, 12-10, 4-11, 11-9) to win the U-19 boys singles title.
Suhana Saini beat Nithyashree Mani of Tamil Nadu 4-2 (11-5, 18-16, 4-11, 11-8, 11-7) to win the U-19 girls singles title.
Ankur proved consistent and managed to lead 3-2 but Deepit took the fifth game when Ankur made many unforced errors. A determined Ankur pulled up his socks to finish the final in style.
Suhana was in sublime touch. The extended second game — in which Suhana won 18-16 — drained Nithyashree out as she failed to hit it off.
The win gave Suhana confidence as she quickly wrapped up the match to add another title to her resume.
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