15 Sep 2021

The second day of play at WTT Youth Contender Tunis 2021 proved a proud day for Indian table tennis. Two of the country’s up-and-coming stars outshone the competition, with Yashaswini Deepak Ghorpade and Hansini Mathan Rajan emerging triumphant on Tuesday 14th September.

by Simon Daish

Returning to the table in the Under 17 Girls Singles semi-finals, Yashaswini Deepak Ghorpade turned around a slow start to beat fellow compatriot Lakshita Narang in four games (8-11, 11-4, 11-6, 13-11). Meanwhile, in the other semi-final, Egypt’s Farida Badawy toppled the highest-ranked player on duty, Uzbekistan’s Markhabo Magdieva (10-12, 11-5, 11-8, 5-11, 12-10).

In just three games the final was decided as a ruthless Ghorpade outclassed Badawy (11-6, 14-12, 11-7) to secure her first WTT Youth Series trophy.

“I’m feeling good; it has been a long wait for this win. I was confident and knew that I could win this match. The level of the players here is amazing, and I want to up my level even more. I’m very confident for tomorrow, and I will fight to win in the Under 19s,” said Ghorpade

India also celebrated success in the Under 13 Girls Singles event through Hansini Mathan Rajan. Navigating her opening four encounters without dropping a single game on day one, Mathan Rajan continued where she left off with a 3-0 semi-final win over Ananya Muralidharan (11-7, 11-8, 11-9).

Another fellow Indian provided the opposition for Mathan Rajan in the final as Prisha Goel looked to spoil the party. Goel also held a perfect record from her run to the title decider, but ultimately lost it when it mattered most as Mathan Rajan powered to victory (11-5, 11-8, 11-8).

“I feel very good. I made my coach proud, as well as my family and all my friends. I’m very happy. I played with aggression using my attack, and I did my best to be concentrate until the end of the match. I didn’t even think about losing. Everything was good, and the venue had a good atmosphere. It was a big and beautiful experience for me. I enjoyed participating, and I’m ready to do it again as soon as possible,” said Mathan Rajan

Two champions crowned, a further three will be identified on the closing day of Girls Singles action. Wednesday’s schedule gets underway from 10.00 local time with knock-out stage fixtures from the Under 11, Under 15 and Under 19 events, with three finals rounding off the day from 16.45.

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