Delhis Payas Jain and Maharashtras Diya Chitale claimed the seasons maiden titles in the sub-junior category of the National Ranking (West Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the Veer Savarkar Municipal Corporation Stadium here.
In an all-Delhi boys’ final, Payas beat Yashansh Malik 4-1 while Diya stopped Anusha Kutumble from Madhya Pradesh 4-2 from winning the third consecutive girls’ crown.
Payas and Yashansh know each other well and have beaten each other in Delhi state events. But Payas was not the one to let go his first opportunity this year and deservingly won.
Indeed, Payas was the better paddler on view, executing his shots to perfection. In fact, he hit a nice rhythm straightaway and looked like wrapping it up 4-0 but for his folly of hurrying with the shots in the third. Yashansh won the game on extended points. Payas quickly realized his mistake and became more clinical in the next two to take home the money and the glittering trophy.
On the other hand, Diya was picture perfect in the first two games and it unnerved Anusha to the extent that she made a lot of unforced errors. But Diya executed her shots with finesse and employed more of her backhand. Her blistering forehand shots and clever use of angles with good anticipation, too, helped her score more winners than her MP rival. Whenever Anusha tried to make a comeback, Diya was there to force her on the back foot.
In what was an all-Tamil Nadu final in cadet boys, Preyesh completed a hat-trick of titles this season beating Tarun Shanmugam 4-0. Preyesh, who showed consistency in the North and Central Zone events earlier, continued his winning ways with an easy win over his state mate, Tarun.
But Kavyashree Baskar, also from Tamil Nadu, upstaged Haryana’s Suhana Saini to deny her a treble in cadet girls with a 4-0 triumph. Suhana had won the titles at Chandigarh and Indore this season. Kavyashree, who had a very good season last year, came back nicely to wrest the initiative from the Haryana girl.
After a comfortable 3-0 lead, Kavyashree lost two match points in the fourth when Suhana, with a brilliant fight back, won her first 13-11. Again, in the next, the Haryana youngster saved a match point to put pressure on the TN girl. But it was in the sixth, which saw some long rallies, that Suhana showed her real colours – she was down 1-7-but went 10-9 up. However, a bad return cost her dear as Kavyashree deuced and on her first match point in the game, she clinched the title.