Gandhidham (Gujarat) [India], January 07: Harmeet Desai made his experience count as he overcame an impressive fightback from his younger statemate Manush Shah to win the men’s singles title at the National Ranking Table Tennis Championship 2021 (Central Zone) that is being organised by Madhya Pradesh Table Tennis Association, under the aegis of Table Tennis Federation of India, in Indore on Thursday.
Harmeet, who had won the title at the National Ranking TT Championships 2021 (South Zone) in Pondicherry last month, was once again up against Vadodara’s Manush, who appeared to be in great form in his COVID ravaged season.
The duo put up a show befitting the final with Surat’s Harmeet, who is representing PSPB, setting the tone by winning the first two games 11-9, 11-8. However, Gujarat’s Manush bounced back by winning the next three games 11-8, 11-7, 11-6.
Just when an upset look imminent, Harmeet made his experience count as the world no. 75 leveled the score by winning the sixth game 11-6 before settling the issue by winning the seventh game 11-5 for his second successive title in the season.
Praising the performance of the duo, Gujarat State Table Tennis Association (GSTTA) president Mr. Vipul Mittra, IAS, said, “It was heartening to see two of our own once again battling for the top prize. And what a performance they had given.”
“A big congratulations of Harmeet for winning his second successive title. He surely made his experience count. While Manush once again showed that he had improved leaps and bounds with a gritty performance, which will do him good,” Mr. Mittra added.
Both Harmeet and Manush started their campaign with a bye in the opening round before beating Chinmaya Somaiya of Maharashtra ‘B’ (11-3, 11-6, 11-8, 11-2) and Birdie Boro of PSPB (11-9, 12-10, 11-6, 11-7) respectively in the second round.
In the third round, Harmeet beat Parth Virmani of CRSB 11-9, 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7 while Manush edged out Sarthak Seth of Uttar Pradesh 11-7, 11-4, 8-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-4.
In the pre-quarters, Harmeet blanked Adarsh Chhetri of Delhi 11-5, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9 while Mansuh blanked Deepit Patil of Maharashtra ‘A’ 13-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-7.
Continuing their dominant form, Harmeet edged out Anirban Ghosh of RSPB 11-6, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 while Manush blanked Yashansh Malik of Delhi 16-14, 11-3, 11-7, 11-3 in the quarters.
In the semis, Harmeet beat Telangana’s Fidel Rafeeque Snehit Suravajjula 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 while Manush defeated Ronit Bhanja of AAI 11-9, 11-5, 11-8, 5-11, 12-10.
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