Soumi Mondal, Vishakha Bijoy, Ranbir Das cause upsets

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SMOOTH SAILING: Soumi Mondal had it easy against Mamta Prabhu in the quarterfinals of the National table tennis championships.
SMOOTH SAILING: Soumi Mondal had it easy against Mamta Prabhu in the quarterfinals of the National table tennis championships.

Rakesh Rao

Raman concedes match to Sharath Kamal; Subhajit Saha destroys Shibaji Datta Rakesh

AJMER: Leaving behind a trail of destruction, unseeded Soumi Mondal and Ranbir Das gate crashed into the singles semifinals of their respective sections in the AAI-National table tennis championship here on Monday.

Soumi, who played second fiddle to Anindita Chakraborty in helping Railways reach the team finals, knocked out second-seeded National Games champion K. Shamini and seventh seed Mamta Prabhu to make her maiden semifinals of the championship. Soumi blanked Mamta in straight games to set up a clash with second seed Mouma Das. In a repeat result of the last year's final at Jaipur, Mouma stopped her team's coach Mantu Ghosh.

Vishakha Bijoy was the other unseeded girl in the last-four stage. Vishakha's consistency stood out as she packed off two former National champions in succession. Vishakha accounted for fifth seed Kasturi Chakraborty and then needed just 18 minutes to end N.R. Indu's campaign.

Vishakha now plays top seed Poulomi Ghatak who stopped eighth-seeded J. Swarna's surge in six games.

In the men's singles, Ranbir broke the predictable sequence of results. Ranbir scored over young talents R. Abhishek and Anal Kashyap to be the only unseeded in the last-four stage.

Ranbir now plays Sharath, who is looking to win back the title after two years. Sharath made it easily against former champion and Chennai-mate S.

Raman when the left-hander conceded the match in the third game. It may be recalled that Raman had upstaged Sharath in the 2005 quarterfinal at Panvel.

Sixth-seeded Anirban Nandy tossed away a 3-0 lead against third seed Pathik Mehta before getting his act together in the decider. He now plays defending champion Subhajit Saha who destroyed seventh seed Shibaji Datta, the man who put out former champion Soumyadeep Roy in the pre-quarterfinals.

The results (prefix denotes seeding): Men's singles (quarterfinals): 1-A. Sharath Kamal (Pet) bt S. Raman (Pet) 11-9, 11-4, 4-3 (conceded); Ranbir Das (Pet) bt Anal Kashyap (Pet) 11-8, 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 13-11; 6-Anirban Nandi (Rlys) bt 3-Pathik Mehta (Guj) 12-10, 11-7, 11-7, 3-11, 10-12, 11-13, 11-8; 2-Subhajit Saha (Pet) bt 7-Shibaji Datta (WB) 11-9, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6.

Pre-quarterfinals: Sharath bt Birupaksha Saha (NB) 11-6, 11-1, 11-4, 11-8; Raman bt Aniket (Mah `A') 13-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-8, 12-10; Kashyap bt 5-A. Amal Raj (Raj) 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7; Das bt R. Abhishek (TN) 7, 14-12, 11-6; Mehta bt G. Vinodh (TN) 12-10, 13-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-6; Nandi bt Zubin Kumar (Raj) 11-7, 5-11, 11-6, 11-8, 3-11, 11-6; Datta bt Soumyadeep Roy (Pet) 12-10, 5-11, 13-11, 3-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-9; Saha bt Rajath Kamal (TN) 11-7, 11-4, 11-4, 11-9.

Men's doubles (final): Anirban Nandi and Sourav (Rlys) bt Soumyajit and A. Amal Raj (Rlys) 11-5, 11-6, 11-7.

Women's singles (quarterfinals): 1-Poulomi Ghatak (Pet) bt 8-J. Swarna (TN) 11-2, 12-10, 6-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-2; Vishakha Bijoy (Raj) bt N.R. Indu (Pet) 11-3, 11-4, 11-4, 11-7; Soumi Mondal bt 7-Mamta Prabhu (Mah `A') 11-5, 11-8, 12-10, 11-7; 3-Mouma Das (Pet) bt 6-Mantu Ghosh (Pet) 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7.

Pre-quarterfinals: Poulomi bt T. Pradeepa (Pet) 11-4, 7-11, 11-1, 11-5, 11-8; Swarna bt Madhurika (Mah `A') 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 7-11, 15-13, 11-4; Indu bt 5-Kasturi Chakraborty (NB) 13-11, 11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7; Vishakha bt 4-Mousumi Paul (Pet) 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7; Mouma bt Sushmita Roy (WB) 11-8, 11-7, 11-6, 11-4; Mantu bt U.V. Agni (TN) 11-7, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5; Mamta bt Nandita Saha (NB) 11-7, 12-10, 11-8, 11-4; Soumi bt 2-K. Shamini (Pet) 11-6, 12-10, 11-8, 11-2, 11-4.

Women's doubles (final): Mouma Das and Poulomi Ghatak (Pet) bt Moushmi Paul and K. Shamini (Pet) 11-9, 11-5, 11-5.

Mixed doubles (final): Subhajit Saha and Nandita Saha (Pet) bt Sayan Paul Roy and Kasturi (NB) 11-4, 11-4, 11-8.

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