INDIA: Top-ranked Indian paddler, Manika Batra clinched her second senior nationals title against Reeth Rishya of PSPB, 4-2 in the women’s singles final of the 82nd UTT Senior National Table Tennis Championships held at Pachkuly, Haryana on Thursday.
Asian Games bronze medallist Manika, representing Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB), had earned her maiden title in 2015 at Hyderabad Nationals earlier and finished a runner-up at Ranchi in 2017 when she lost the final against Sutirtha Mukherjee.
The fifth game was a one-sided one as Manika pushed Reeth into a completely defensive mode, whereas she is an attacking player, so she felt herself in discomfort. Suddenly, Reeth’s attacking posture deserted her, and she looked like an ordinary player.
Commonwealth Games Gold medallist cleverly changed her strategy when Reeth was consistently attacking in the second game which the latter won on extended points. The defence of Reeth could not be grasped and excessive net errors in the crucial stages also cost the current India rank-9, Reeth, the chance of becoming the national champion for the very first time in her career.
The talented 25-year-old, Reeth lost the golden opportunity to avenge her title defeat at the Institutional Championship way back in 2019. There too, Reeth had let the crown slip off her hands after handsomely leading 3-1 in the final.