Table tennis | Jennifer knocks out Archana, creates a flutter

TTFI decides to postpone a few age-group events and Shillong National due to the COVID-19 situation

Jennifer Varghese couldn’t control her joy and let out a cry after finishing the match with a forehand cross-court winner.

The unseeded 13-year-old from Maharashtra recorded the biggest victory of her fledgling career when she stunned title contender Archana Kamath of PSBB 6-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 in a women’s first round match of the UTT National-ranking Central Zone table tennis tournament on Tuesday.

After losing the first game — she was unable to read Archana’s serves — Jennifer fought back and matched Archana with her forehand topspin spots from the back of the table.

“I am thrilled to beat a player like Archana,” said Jennifer, who moved to Chennai in August 2021 to train under coach R. Rajesh.

Meanwhile, the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) has decided to postpone the under-15, 13 and 11 events which were scheduled to be held here from January 6. The sub-junior and cadet Nationals (from January 11) and the senior Nationals in Shillong (from January 22) have also been postponed due to the COVID-19 situation, M.P. Singh, TTFI Advisor, told The Hindu after the TTFI AGM. However, the u-19 and 17 events will go on as planned.

Ten positive cases of COVID-19, including the parent of a player, were reported on Tuesday after the RT-PCR tests were done.

Important results: Men (second round): Sarth Mishra (UP) bt Payas Jain (Del) 11-8, 6-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-6; Nitin Thiruvengadam (BBSCB) bt Jaydip Das (IA&AD) 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 6-11, 13-11; Tamal Ballav (Ben) bt Sachin Hemanth (TNTTA) 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 8-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5; Anirban Nandi (Ben) bt Sushmit Sriram (TTTA) 11-5, 7-11, 8-11, 12-10, 15-13, 11-8.

Women (first round): Madhurika Patkar (PSPB) bt Pritha Vartikar (Mah) 11-4, 11-2, 13-11, 11-9; Suhana Saini (Har) bt Tisha Kohli (Del) 11-9, 11-3, 11-1, 11-7; R. Harshavardhini (RBI) bt Vedhalakshmi Devi (TNTTA) 11-6, 9-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-8; Amrutha Pushpak (RBI) bt Kavyashree Baskar (TTTA) 2-11, 11-5, 10-12, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9; M. Nithyashree (TTTA) bt Tanzia Sharma (Del) 11-6, 11-1, 11-6, 11-6; S. Yashini (TNTTA) bt Risha Mirchandani (Mah) 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-3, 7-11, 11-4.

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