South Zone TT: Top-seed Anargaya huffs and puffs her way to pre-quarters

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Vijayawada, Sep 7 (IANS) Manjunath Anargaya survived a stern test to enter the pre-quarterfinals of the National Ranking (South Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the DRM Municipal Indoor Hall here on Friday.

The top-seeded girl from Karnataka, despite enjoying a first-round bye, was taken the full distance by her Telangana rival Bhaavitha Nagulapalli before Anargya won 3-2 (11-6, 9-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-6).

Anargaya, the winner of the North Zone title at Panchkula in her first season, began well taking the first game rather easily, giving a glimpse of her Panchkula form.

But credit must be given to the Telangana girl who did a fantastic job to stop her short of two points in the second to level and then go up with a better performance in the third.

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Obviously under pressure, the Karnataka girl had to steady herself and minimise the errors, particularly at the net, to level the score. With her confidence restored, Anargaya launched herself into attack and subdued whatever resistance came from the Telangana girl.

In a match-up between two qualifiers, West Bengal’s Sneha Bowmick won (3-2) 11-8, 11-13, 11-3, 10-12, 11-9 against Delhi’s Kaashvi Gupta.

Another Delhi girl and fourth-seed Tamanna Gulshan struggled a bit before overcoming her West Bengal rival Sucheta Prosad with a 3-1 victory (11-4, 6-11, 11-9, 14-12).

For Haryana’s Suhana Saini, it was business as usual when she accounted for Telangana’s Ikshitha Koride with a 3-0 (11-5, 11-4, 11-8) triumph.

As many as 16 first-round byes were offered, including to eight top-ranked players, and 40 group winners joined them in the knockout stage draw of 64.

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In comparison, 52 group winners joined the eight higher ranked players with only the top four enjoying first-round byes.

–IANS

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