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Abhinand, Diya return to form as they win titles in Nat’l Ranking TT

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Panchkula: P.B. Abhinand of Tamil Nadu returned to his winning ways as he lifted the Youth Boys Under-17 title after beating Oishik Ghosh of West Bengal 3-2 in the UTT National Ranking Table

Tennis Championships at the Tau Devi Lal Indoor Stadium here.

In the Youth Girls U-17 final, Diya Brahmachary of Delhi brushed aside the challenges from Riana Bhoota of Maharashtra to wrest the crown with a 3-2 verdict, played Tuesday night.

Abhinand, with his coach and adviser back on the sidelines, grew in confidence despite losing the opening game. The Tamil Nadu boy gained the upper hand and led 2-1 before letting his West Bengal rival close

in on the lead. In the decisive fifth game, Abhinand played with verve and confidence to win the title with minimal points.

After missing a few chances in her previous outings in the National Ranking events, Diya wrested the title. But Riana had her opportunities when she levelled the score 2-2. However, Diya’s bold performance in the fifth game saw her through. Oishik Ghosh and P.B. Abhinand have their chance to make it a memorable tournament after they failed in their previous outings, including at Vijayawada, to reach the final.

After top-seeded Priyanuj Bhattacharya ended his campaign most bizarrely in the second round—he went down to a qualifier—and Abhinand sent second-seed Punit Biswas packing in the semifinals, the two impending hurdles were out of the way. Now, it is up to the West Bengal and Tamil Nadu paddlers to square off in the final for the ultimate title and the gold medal.

Oishik made it easy in his semifinal clash with Priyanshu Karmakar, also from West Bengal, with a 3-0 verdict despite the latter stretching him in the third game. Oishik won it on his third match point to move into the final. But Abhinand faced a real challenge in the first game, which he won on his third game point. Instead of

cashing in on the momentum, he dropped the next. However, he was quick to strike a balance between attack and defence and finish with certainty. Perhaps, returning his coach and adviser Subin Kumar to the sidelines brought his confidence back.

After Sayanika Maji, the top seed, bowed out to Subhankrita Datta of NCOE in the pre-quarterfinals Tuesday, one expected Subhankrita to go through all the way. But her exit in the semifinals to unseeded Riana Bhoota has given the left-hander from Maharashtra a chance to add to her U-15 crown. The Maharashtra paddler began on a wrong note but did well to first level the game and consolidate further to wrap it up quickly.

Delhi paddler Diya Brahmacharya outlasted Kavya Bhatt of Maharashtra, having to play two extended games and ending with wins. Though she dropped the second game after the first lengthy game, Diya saved three

game points to go 2-1 up and complete the task in the next.

Syndrela Das, who claimed the title at Vijayawada, was wayward Wednesday Kavya, who wore her out in a quarterfinal match that went the distance. Syndrela was guilty of squandering the 2-1 lead and let the

Maharashtra paddler take complete control.

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