Dec 152012

Indians girls in 2nd round of World Junior TT C'shipHyderabad: Indian challenge at the ongoing Volkswagen 2012 World Junior Table Tennis Championships here on Saturday came to an end when Ayhika Mukerjee and Suthirtha Mukherjee exited in the pre-quarterfinals. Ayhika, proved to the best among the Indian lot, as she managed to take a game off her US opponent Zhang Lily, going down 11-9, 7-11, 6-11, 4-11, 7-11 while poor Suthirtha succumbed to the Chinese second seed Gu Yuting in straight sets.

Ayhika later admitted that her opponent was more experienced but she could have extended to one or two games more. “After winning the first game, I should have attacked more but Lily was too good with her backhand scorchers. She blocked well and her returns were too good,” said the 15-year-old Kolkatan.

But Suthirtha found herself pitted against a red hot Gu Yuting who is expected to reach the final here. Expectedly, Gu sent down a barrage of forehands and backhands straightaway unsettling the Indian. The pattern continued throughout the 25-minute match that the No. 2 seed won 11-2, 11-6, 11-3, 11-3.

Nevertheless, Suthirtha was happy about her performance here. “I got the right exposure here and I am happy about it. Playing against Gu was intriguing and it showed when I stood against an opponent of her calibre,” confessed Suthirtha.

In the boys section, two other seeds fell by the way in the morning when fifth and sixth seeded Asuka Sakai from Japan in the top half and Tristan Flore from France, respectively, bowed out in the round of 16. Sakai lost to unseeded Fan Shengpeng 1-4 while another unseeded Chinese Zu Chenhao blanked out Flore 4-0.

Fifth-seeded Solja Petrissa, who had beaten No. 1 seed Zhu Yuling in the team championships the other day, punctured the pride of China yet again, toppling fourth seed Liu Gayong 4-2 (6-11, 7-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8) to earn her entry into the semifinals where she will tak on Zhu Yuling tomorrow. Thus Petrissa has stopped a clean sweep of medals by China.

In other quarterfinals, Zhu Yuling had her anxious moments before overcoming her Romanian opponent Bernadette Szocs 4-0 while No. 2 seed Gu Yuting accounted for No. 7 Ayuka Tanioka of Japan 4-0 and fourth seeded Gu Ruochen defeated Lily Zhang, No. 10 seed, by the same margin of 4-0. The other semifinal pits Gu Yuting against Gu Ruochen.

As for the other Chinese who made the semifinal grade, their matches turned out to be one-sided affairs, including the one against Japanese Ayuka Tanioka whose rhythm was upset by Gu Yuting right from the word go.

However, in the junior boys section, it will be all Chinese semifinals. Sixth seed Fan Shengpeng packed off No. 4 Simon Gauzy of France 4-3 in a thrilling quarterfinal match. The other quarterfinals did not generate the same kind of fervour with Fan Zhendong beating Yuto Muramatsu of Japan 4-1, Xu Chenhao demolishing Benedikt of Germany 4-0 and Lin Gaoyuan completing the against Japanese Yoshida Masaki with a 4-1 verdict.

By Indian Sports News Network

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