India Open Table Tennis: Harmeet Desai Advances in his game where Manika Batra Bows Out
New Delhi: Promising Indian paddler Harmeet Desai has started his 2017 ITTF World Tour India Open Table Tennis tournament campaign with a positive note, registering a hard-fight of 4-3 victory over 16th seeded Tristan Flore of France at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex on Thursday.
Harmeet ranked 112 in the world started off confidently against World No.77 Tristan. He had attacked with his backhand and forehand and enfolded up the first three games by (11-4, 11-6, 11-9) in just under 20 minutes. The match was firmly in his hands at 8-7 in the fourth when he let it slipped away from him.
A lapse of concentration by Harmeet allowed the Frenchman to free his muscles as a result he won the next three games (11-9, 11-9, 11-7) .
Harmeet looked with a little bit of anxiousness as the deciding game was unfolded. Both kept pace with each other but Harmeet slipped to 5-6 to face a bitter defeat. But then, then he reeled off the next 6 points to steal his place for the next round.
In the women’s singles, India’s Mousumi Paul pulled off a sensational victory, upsetting the country’s one of the top seeded player Manika Batra. The 10th seeded player has begun as a firm favourite but she quickly ran into trouble by losing the opening game with 7-11.
She pulled one back with 11-8 but she couldn’t dictate the pace with flow of the match as Mousumi attacked confidently and continously. Manika’s backhand blocks were not enough effective, allowing Mousumi to kill the points almost at will. She lost her next three games without as much as fight, going down with 7-11, 4-11, 8-11.
With India’s best hope to be out of the race, with a lot rested on the shoulders of the new national champion Madhurima Patkar. After showing initial promise by winning her opening game against Wai Yam Soo of Hong Kong, she also faded away. She lost the next four games to an embarrassing defeat against the Under-21 singles silver medallist.
Other match between Krittwika Roy was beaten by Huajun Jiang of Hong Kong. She displayed a great skill and grit to stretch her all the way to decider. In the deciding game, she was on the point of victory five times, but didn’t convert any of them.