TTSL TN- Semi Finals 2 – Jeppiaar Smashers vs Mobie Chargers
Women’s Singles, Seniors
T Reeth Rishya from Jeppiaar Smashers went up against S Krithicka of Mobie Chargers. Reeth is an explosive player who doesn’t give any quarter to her opponents she drives home her smashes one shot after the other, always on the move, always ready to anticipate the next shot, Reeth is a testament to what hard-work and natural combined can produce. Krithicka did not let the international star have an easy run at the office, she anticipated the smashes, figured out where her defenses were lacking, showed resilience when she was losing points and bucked herself up to start regaining lost ground. But, it was not enough as Reeth had accumulated enough of a lead and the match got over in three straight sets, with the score being – 11-7, 11-7 and 13-11.
V Nitin from Jeppiaar Smashers went up against R Santhosh Kumar. In a match that can only be described as being an upset to this reported, the young underdog from mobie chargers took down the seasoned veteran from Jeppiaar Smashers. Nitin’s patented down the center smashes and fore hand flicks helped him out in parts but never in whole as Santhosh started to become another Piyush Sagar, trying to slice the ball. The spin change caught Nitin unawares as his shot selection was initially very erratic, the experience allowed him to regain his composure and start to hit back at Santhosh, who at this point was bouyed by his success and was attempting shots that looked like they were copied from the playbook of some of the top International superstars, much to the chagrin of his coaches, who just wanted him to play a normal match and not resort to any antics. His chutzpah, however, helped him out this time and he won the match in three straight sets, Surprising me. I had for sure thought that the winner was Nitin and was only paying attention until I saw the score chart. The final score chart read: 14-12, 12-10, 11-5.
Junior Boys Single
V Malesh Kumar from Jeppiaar Smasher looks more like a player who belongs in the senior circle than someone who should be playing in the junior division, though I am sure he hoped that he was in the seniors division rather than having to face G Piyush Sagar, an ace of the spin. It is unbecoming that a man can turn his shoulders the way Piyush can and still continue having proper use of his extremities. The start of the match was promising for Malesh as he scored two quick points, but Piyush regained his ground and from then on out it was a total show of the things one can do when one cuts the ball at the just the right angle. To think that a player of this caliber can been identified and is playing serious, professional table tennis is a boon to the entire sport, this is one player who can achieve great things one day. Piyush won his match against Malesh in three straight sets with a score of 11-5, 11-9, 11-3.
Mixed Doubles, Seniors
V Nitin Thiruvengadam teamed up T Reeth Rishya to confront the team from Mobie Chargers R Santhosh Kumar and S Krithicka. It looked like Santhosh was about to pull for another upset in the first set as he took charge of the team, began to stifle every attempt by Reeth and Nitin to begin a counter attack in the first set which team Mobie Chargers won 11-7. Nitin and Reeth dug in deep and began to attack the defensive stance of Krithicka and started to capitalize on the over-aggression of Santhosh which started to see more of the floor and the back of the net rather than scoring the proper points for his team, which only served to unnerve him as he made more tactical errors, to the extent that the coach from Mobie Chargers had to call for a time out to calm him down. Nitin and Reeth held their own and won the set and the match convincingly. The final score reading – 7-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-7.
Women’s Singles, Junior
N Deepika from Mobie Chargers dropped another upset when she went up against R Santhana Aishwarya. Aishwarya had been the favorite to win the best female, junior award, which had raised expectations of her performance. Deepika shattered all that when she took Ishwarya down in the first set 11-2, an emphatic victory. She followed this up with two more sets in which she did not let the powerhouse of Aishwarya start to churn out the point winners that she had become good at in the last three days. Deepika played it calm and cool, never letting herself get tensed and playing the one serve at a time. It was fun to watch as she took down her opponent without so much as a smile on her face. The final score read – 11-2, 11-7, 11-6.
This meant that team from Jeppiaar Smashers had to win their next match and they had to win it big, easy, Considering it was a powerhouse in the form of Nitin and he was being guided by the experienced hand of Kalyanaraman, No way they could lose, right?
Kalyanaraman lend his expertise to Nitin Thiruvengadam as they faced the dynamic duo from Mobie Chargers; J Jaikumar and R Sathosh Kumar.
The first set was a setup of things to come, as was the scene yesterday, Santhosh overplayed his hand and started to bleed points, the expert smashes from Nitin won the team from Jeppiaar Smashers their first set. The second set was the same story, but this time Santhosh was a bit restrained and this showed as Mobie Chargers did not lose nearly as much points as they had the last set. Third set had the classic combo Nitin Smashing and Kalyanaraman receiving the shots which ended up with the team in blue winning their second set and then it was time for the fourth set and a different atmosphere had descended on Santhosh, he did go for the annoyingly dangerous plays, but he wasn’t shouting as much nor was he trying to scream at his partner, it seemed that in his own way, he had found his center, they won the fourth and fifth sets, 11-9 and 11-1, and with that won the match. They were now one of the final two teams who would compete for the bragging rights of being the first champions of the Table Tennis Super League – Tamil Nadu.