Top seed Sakshi Phogat notched up an impressive 21-14, 21-8 win over Andhra Pradesh’s Jahnavi Nammi to book her place in the Round of 16 of the Girls Under-19 singles event of premier badminton tournament Smt Krishna Khaitan Memorial in Panchkula on Monday. The elimination of the fourth seed Akanksha Matte by Maharashtra’s Tara Shah was the main upset of the day.
As the top seed, Phogat, who hails from Rajasthan, is a big favourite for the title this week. However, other seeded players vying for the title also progressed to the next round. Haryana home favourites – second seed Anupama Upadhyaya, third seed Devika Sihag and fifth seed Unnati Hooda all went through.
Among the big upsets in the Round of 32 though, was the loss of Akanksha Matte to Tara Shah 19-21, 12-21. Assam’s Isharani Baruah also put up a dominant display to knock out 12th seed Hrissha Dubey. The 21-7, 21-6 scoreline was the most striking of the day.
Chitwan Khatri also edged out a thriller against Uttarakhand’s Awantika Pandey. After losing the first set, he rallied to win the match 10-21, 21-19, 21-18.
Boruah prevails in trio of thrillers
Across the Boys Under-19 singles events, a string of thrilling encounters played themselves out. Chief among them was third seed Tonmoy Bikash Boruah’s win over Uttarakhand’s Shivam Mehta. Assam’s Boruah dropped the first set before coming back to win 14-21, 21-18, 21-16.
Elsewhere, Punjab’s Akarshit Sharma needed overtime to edge Tamil Nadu’s Sugi Sai Bala Singha G 18-21, 21-16, 23-21. And Dheemanth Ramavat came back from a lacklustre first set to defeat Manish Phogat 12-21, 22-20, 21-19 in the Round of 32.
Second seed Bharat Raghav and fourth seed Ayush Shetty also progressed to the next round, while Maharashtra boy Pranay Shettigar, who trumped top seed Pranav Rao Gandham yesterday, comfortably booked his place in the fourth round too.
Girls U-19: (1) Sakshi Phogat (RAJ) bt Jahnavi Nammi (AP) 21-14, 21-8; Tara Shah (MAH) bt (4) Akanksha Matte (AP) ; (2) Anupama Upadhyaya (HAR) bt Sreshta Reddy K (TS); Rijul Saini (HAR) bt (9) Shreya Lele (GUJ) 22-24, 21-11, 21-19; (5) Unnati Hooda (HAR) bt Tanvi Sharma (TN) 21-12, 21-16; Shriyanshi Valishetty (TS) bt (10) Samayara Panwar (UP) 21-10, 21-13; (3) Devika Sahag (HAR) bt Rashmit Donepudi (AP) 21-17, 21-15.
Boys U19: Pranay Shettigar (MAH) bt Gagan (HAR) 22-20, 21-16; (2) Bharat Raghav (HAR) bt Himanish Das (ASM) 21-13, 21-15; (4) Ayush Shetty (KTK) bt Prajwal Sonawane (MAH) 23-21, 21-10; Dheemanth Ramavath (TS) bt Manish Phogat (RAJ) 12-21, 22-20, 21-19; (10) Abhinav Thakur (PNB) bt Asmit Aggarwal 21-15, 21-15.