Riti in pre-quarters; seeds advance too
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Delhi's Riti Shankar entered the Junior Girls pre-quarterfinals in the Vatika National Ranking North Zone Table Tennis championships at the Hans Raj Model School hall on Monday. Riti defeated Maharashtra's Shruti Amrute 3-1 (11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 12-10) to enter the pre-quarterfinals in which she will take on Priyadarshini Das of West Bengal. Priyadasrshini accounted for Indian Bank's Amrutha Pushpak 3-0. Earlier, Riti beat Shailu Basha of Andhra Pradesh 3-1 in a one-sided first round match.
As for top seeds in the men and women's singles, barring Anandita Chakraborty, had a smooth sailing into the second round. The seventh seed Anandita lost to Ayhika Mukherjee, 3-4 in a battle that lasted 40 minutes. But Ayhika, who is No. 3 seed in the Junior Girls' category, went 1-3 down to A Naina of Andhra Pradesh.
Anandita, the veteran Railways player, started on a bright note winning the first two games but then started to lose grip on the match as her younger opponent from Airports Authority of India started to reel out winners and pressing hard.
Undeterred by the 0-2 scoreline Ayhika surged to a sizeable lead before winning 11-7. She followed it up with another impressive run as she stopped Anandita to three points in the next game. Though Anandita gave her all in the decider, it was Ayhika who completed the win 9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-3, 16-14 to enter the second round.
Probably having to play another match within an hour of beating Anandita took a heavy toll on Ayhika as he failed to show the same spark and lost to Naina in the junior section. In the pre-quarterfinals, the Andhra girl who lost her sub-junior title on Saturday to West Bengal's Moumita Dutta made amends by winning 3-1 (11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10).
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