Indians continued to impress with three paddlers in both men’s and women’s categories entering the semifinals of the ITTF World Tour Brazil Open at Santos on Saturday.
While Harmeet Desai got the better of Brazilian Thiago Monteiro 4-3 (11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 5-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9) in a tough battle to grab a semi-final spot in the men’s singles, Manika Batra and Ankita Das made the last four stage in the women’s singles.
Anita, who faced compatriot Suthirtha Mukherjee in the quarters, emerged victorious with a 4-2 (8-11, 12-10, 11-9, 7-11, 11-3, 11-8) scoreline, while Manika registered a comfortable 11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5 win over Jissica Yamada of Brazil to enter the semi-finals.
However, Soumyajit Ghosh failed to seal his semifinal spot as he lost to Brazilian Hugo Calderano 3-4 (7-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 8-11, 8-11) despite leading 2-1 at one stage.
Ghosh had earlier beaten host paddler Israel Barreto in straight games to move into the quarterfinals.
Earlier, both G. Satiyan and Nitin Vasanth Philips had exited in the round of 16, losing to Thiago Monteiro and Cazuo Matsumoto, respectively. Kritiwica Sinha Roy too lost 2-4 to Jessica Yama in a gruelling battle in the pre-quarterfinals.
Desai played exceptionally well to win his pre-quarterfinal and quarterfinal matches, both of which went to the wire. He had outlasted Brazilian Humberto Manhani 4-3 in pre-quarters.
The Indian will now take on local challenger Gustavo Tsuboi in the semifinals.
Manika will take on Elizabeta Samara of Roumania in the semis, while Ankita will meet Brazilian Caroline Kumahara.
Meanwhile, both Soumyajit Ghosh and G. Sathiyan have entered the Under-21 boys singles quarterfinals. Ghosh beat Nitin Philips 11-8, 13-11, 11-7, 11-5 and Sathiyan defeated Harmeet Desai 12-10, 4-11, 15-13, 4-11, 11-7, 11-7.
In the semi-finals, the two Indians will face each other.
In the Under-21 girls’ singles semi-finals, it will be Suthirtha Mukherjee versus Manika Batra.
The winner of the men and women’s singles will get $4,000 while the runners-up will receive $2,000. The losing semi-finalists will bag $500 each.
As for the Under-21 event, the singles winner will get $1,500 while the runner-up would take home $750. The losing semi-finalists will have to be satisfied with the prize purse of $375.
Meanwhile, Indian Cadet boys’ team and the Cadet girls’ team completely dominated at the Junior and Cadet Open in Guatemala city as both won the gold medals.