Arup, Tanmoyee lift titles
A David for the Goliath before Slam showdowns
Gold Cup from Friday
Manoj Sewa in quarter finals
FCI top group, in pre-quarters
Paes En Sport in semi-finals

Calcutta, May 24 
It was not a day for upsets as top seeds carried away titles at the Badminton Players� Association-organised state ranking meet today. But, for many, glory came only after sweat and uncertainty. at the Khudiran Anushilan Kendra.

Women�s top seed Tanmoyee Nandy had to ward off a stubborn Barnali Raha before she won the final 11-2, 9-11, 11-3. Tanmoyee, however, bagged a double by lifting the junior singles title as well.

Arup Baidya had no such problems, sweeping past Sanjoy Das in straight games to lift the men�s title. Baidya, who dominated his partner from the very beginning, clinched it at 15-3, 15-8 and then went on to add the men�s doubles and the mixed doubles title for a �triple crown�

He was quickly up 8-1 against Das in the first game. Das could only win two more points as the top seed wrapped up the game with a lovely mix of awesome power and deft touches.

The second game followed the same pattern though Das showed flashes of brilliance in the middle when he rallied back from 2-6 to 5-6. Baidya added to his problems at this juncture with a few uncharacteristic errors, deciding to leave a few shots alone only to find the shuttle fall in. But he shrugged off the phase to come back strongly and finished the game, and thus the match, 15-8.

The women�s final was a more evenly contested affair. Barnali showed her mettle in the second game which she won 9-11.

Strangely, with the players locked at one game each and the promise of an exciting finish in the air, the organisers decided to temporarily halt the match for a prize giving ceremony. The sub-junior boys� final between Gourav Das and Samrat Adhikary was also in progress at the time.

When the ladies came back to the court Barnali had lost her concentration and Tanmoyee surged ahead.

In the other match that was thus disturbed. Das beat Adhikary 8-15, 15-11, 15-5. The youngster showed immense courage as he overcame an ankle sprain sustained during the match.

The sub-junior girls title went to Amrita Mukherjee who beat Payel Banerjee. Anirban Mukherjee won the junior boy�s title. In the mini boys� and girls� section Jishnu Sanyal and A. Das won, respectively.

Tomorrow�s bandh forced some of the final matches to be held today.    

Calcutta, May 24 
Under normal circumstances, the red-hot pair should have been busy planning strategy to defend back-to-back Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros and All England Club. Instead, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have forced upon themselves the unenviable task of defending their reputation with different partners following an acrimonious separation.

For Paes, at least, Jan Siemerink is known quantity. He has played with the Dutchman in three tournaments in the last 11 months and reached the finals on all three occasions. Two of them (Bermuda and Orlando) were converted into titles, the other one (s�Hertogenbosch) may also have materialised if rain hadn�t washed away the final.

Bhupathi, left stranded after taking his partnership with Paes for granted, has struggled to find the right partner since his return to the circuit after a five-month surgery-induced lay-off. The Bangalorean, in fact, is faced with the same predicament Paes found himself in at the end of last year when Bhupathi was ruled out for a lengthy period.

Bhupathi, who was world�s top-ranked doubles player about this time last year, has tried out three partners (Wayne Arthurs, Mark Knowles and Mark Kratzmann) in four tournaments and, despite some fighting tennis, failed to get beyond the quarter finals in any of those.

And, to complicate matters, Bhupathi will be going into the French Open and Wimbledon with a brand new ally � German David Prinosil.

A promising singles player once, Prinosil cracked the top-50 but couldn�t quite sustain the momentum. He has tried his hand at doubles off and on, but there haven�t been any significant result yet.

Wayne Ferreira did express his interest in teaming up with Bhupathi at Wimbledon, but the fact that he is also a left-court player dissuaded the Indian from forging a partnership. Prinosil fits the bill in that sense, as he prefers playing on the right court. In the absence of any hotter name, Bhupathi has had to settle for this none-too-hot German.    

Calcutta, May 24 
The Calcutta Ladies� Golf Club (CLGC) is reviving the Gold Cup tournament after a year�s gap. The three-day meet at the club�s Maidan course begins Friday.

The mixed championship will have teams of three golfers each. There will be one lady in each team, provided there are enough entries.

Among the 250-odd entries so far are famous golfers like Vandana Agarwal and a number of corporate bigwigs.

Web contest

Come the Asia Cup, and net surfers can take part in the strike rate contest. All entries will be through the site

The contest may become a regular feature for all major meets.    

Calcutta, May 24 
Manoj Sewa, top seed in the boys� under-16 event, beat Rohit Srivastava 8-1 to reach the last eight of the Britannia junior age-group tennis meet at the Ordnance Club today.

Also advancing to the quarter finals were Rishi Chaturvedi, Rupesh Roy, Samrat Ghosh, Nirvik Mohinta and Indradip Motra.

In the girls� under-16 event, top seed Ragini Vimal breezed into the quarters with an 8-1 whipping of Rasima Chablani. The others to advance were Amrita Talukdar, Arpita Das, Tanya Ahuja, Karina Ahuja and Pooja Mitra.    

Calcutta, May 24 
FCI won their final group league match at Khardah today to top group B of the McDowell Cup cluster championship being held at different districts.

According to information received here, Palash Bose netted the winner to guide FCI to the knockout pre-quarter final stage. The fight for the other berth from this group is between Taltala Institute and Aryan.

Four more pre-quarter finalists were identified today � Wari, Kalighat, Rajasthan and Milan Bithee.

Wari beat Behala Youth 2-0 at Rajopur to earn second spot in group C. The scorers were Sanjay Dey and Niloy Bagchi. Railway FC have already topped the group.

Kalighat edged out Barisha SC to the second spot from group D in Madhyamgram, thanks to an Amit Kolay strike. Kalighat�s opponents in the round-of-16 will be Railway FC.

Rajasthan scraped through to the pre-quarters from group E, at the expense of Muslim Institute. Samar Mukherjee got the crucial goal today for Rajasthan at Sodepur. Rajasthan next meet Salkia Friends.

Milan Bithee had no problems making it to the knockout stage, eking out a 3-0 win over Taltala DS at Dakshineswar to finish second in group G. Sanjib Misra struck twice, Amar Dhar completed the tally.

City AC beat Sporting Union 3-1 to keep alive hopes of qualifying from group A. George Telegraph have already assured themselves of the top spot.

Two more first-round matches will be played Friday � Aryan versus Taltala Institute at Khardah and City AC versus Customs at Batanagar � to determine the remaining couple of last-16 slots.

The pre-quarter final matches will be held at four venues � Batanagar, Khamargachi, Sode-pur and Naranpur � from Friday. The semi-finals are scheduled for Tuesday and the final, to determine which team makes it to the tournament proper, comes off June 1.    

Calcutta, May 24 
Paes En Sport and Selvel A advanced to the Main Plate semi-finals of The Telegraph five-a-side Merchants Cup soccer meet this evening. The two sides scored identical 2-1 wins over Williamson Magor and Taj Bengal, respectively.

The four other matches also produced 2-1 scorelines. In Losers Plate quarters, TCT beat ABN Amro and Bata pipped Park hotel. The Bowl Plate quarter-finals saw Modi Xerox edging out ITC �A� and PriceWater House down Hindustan Times.    


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