Mudit Dani escapes to victory, Yashaswini upstages Moumita Dutta

3 months ago 20

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After a difficult victory against Tushar Chauhan, Dani learn of a possible walkover for a place in the men’s main draw

Sixth-ranked Indian in World ranking, Mudit Dani huffed and puffed to beat little-known Tushar Chauhan in five sets and then learnt of getting a possible walkover for a place in the men’s main draw of the National ranking table tennis championship on Monday.

Over the last few years, 22-year Dani accumulated enough ranking points by playing several international tournaments and climbed to the 200th spot in the world. However, the youngster is yet to prove his worth in domestic competitions.

On the first day of qualifying rounds at Panchkula's Devi Lal Stadium, Dani posted a hard-fought 9-21, 12-10, 11-8, 5-11, 11-7 victory over his rival from Daman & Diu.

In the three-man Group 14, Dani was due to face Parth Virmani, ranked 30th in the country. But Virmani, who lost his father to Covid not so long ago, was absent for his first match. On Tuesday, in the likely scenario of Virmani staying away, Dani will join the main draw of 128.

Utkarsh Gupta, one of the players tipped to qualify, suffered a serious setback to his plan after a shock 12-10, 5-11, 5-11, 5-11 loss to Shivam Das. Since only one player advances from each of the 64 groups, Shivam is set to be a surprise qualifier.

Karnataka’s K. J. Akash surprised Railway’s Kiranjoy Pushilal 3-1 and wildcard Parth Mishra 3-2 to qualify.

Among those who remained on course to qualify are, Birdie Boro, Raj Mondal, Anirban Ghosh, Sougata Sarkar, T. Nitin, Siddesh Pande, Abhimanyu Mitra, Ravindra Kotiyan, Anukram Jain and Omkar Torgalkar.

In the women's section, Yashaswini Ghorpade upstaged Moumita Dutta in four sets to brighten her prospects of gate-crashing into the main draw. In other upsets, Isha Chavan surprised Riti Shankar 3-1, Aarthi Chaudhary got past Manasi Chiplunkar 3-1, Sanchita Chatterjee beat Vanshika Bhargava 3-2 and Shubha Bhat scalped Trisha Gogoi 3-2.

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