Patna: Youngsters Sanil Shetty and Ankita Das were crowned men’s and women’s singles champion respectively at the 75th Senior National Table Tennis Championships, here, on Sunday.
The No. 2 seed Sanil defeated his PSPB teammate Harmeet Desai 4-2 and No. 4 Ankita Das, also of PSPB, drubbed AAI’s Krittwika Sinha Roy 4-0 to take home the winners’ purse of Rs 2.30 lakh and Rs 1.45 lakh, respectively.
Incidentally, Sanil is the first national champion to emerge from Mumbai after Kamlesh Mehta, who last won the title in 1995.
The men’s singles had all the ingredients befitting the final, unlike the women’s final which never rose to any dizzy height. The left-handed Sanil proved too hot for Desai who, in the morning, had upset all calculations to account for Achanta Sharath Kamal at the Patliputra Sports Complex here.
Desai, however, failed to raise his game in the final and his game lacked aggression.
In fact, Sanil was on a rampage right from the start that allowed little leeway to Desai. In a way, the latter was astounded by Sanil’s attack on both flanks, more so on his opponent’s faulty forehand.
It paid rich dividends as Sanil reeled off winners after winners to unsettle his rival. For a brief period, though, Desai tried to come back but once Sanil ran up a 7-3 lead and 10-5, it was all over for Desai.
As for Ankita, she hardly broke a sweat against Krittwika and it reflected in the scoreline against her AAI opponent in the women’s final. Krittwika was found wanting on many fronts and Ankita just exploited them to her advantage.
Making a mockery of the seeding yet again, No. 1 men’s player Kamal and No. 3 K. Shamini in women’s singles had bowed out without a fight.
Desai, who has never won against Kamal, was the better player on view on Sunday as he controlled the match tactically.