If looks can be deceptive, A. Sreeja appears frail, if not fragile. The bespectacled paddler triggered the biggest giant-killing act in the ongoing National Junior and Youth Table Tennis Championships at Indore.
Sreeja beat No. 4 seed Manika Batra. She is coached by Somnath Ghosh at the Global Table Tennis Academy in Hyderabad. She subdued Manika 3-11, 11-8, 11-8, 4-11, 11-8. Teammate Nikhat Banu, after losing to Sutirtha Mukherjee 3-11, 11-7, 8-11, 3-11 in the opening rubber, ousted Olympian and favourite Ankita Das 11-9, 11-5, 13-11.
Karnam Spoorthy staged a strong comeback to subdue Sutirtha 7-11, 11-6, 8-11, 14-12, 11-9. Exhausted perhaps by the effort, AP strived hard for victory in the final later in the evening but went down 2-3 after a valiant fight to West Bengal.
Sub-junior Sreeja subdues international Manika Batra