Archana Girish Kamath’s history-making run at the ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals came to an end when top-seed Romanian Adina Diaconu beat the Indian 4-0 in the quarterfinals at the Abhay Prashal.
Archana, who became the first Indian to enter the last-eight stages, could not repeat her feat against French girl Pauline Chasselin in the third round which paved the way for her quarterfinal entry. Yet, the Bengaluru girl, who finished fifth, can look up to going a few places higher in her rankings. In addition, the 16-year-old will pocket $1,050 for her efforts.
Archana was completely out of sorts against the attacking Romanian whose backhand winners became the talk of the town.
That Adina was not only fast but even furious with her approach against the 14th seeded Indian was evident right from the word go. She ran into a 9-2 in the first game, sounding the alarm bell for Archana.
The pattern continued despite Archana trying to slow down the game as none of her tricks, including backhand topspin services, worked. Interestingly, Adina was in a hurry to finish the match and she made no bones about it. She will take on Park Seri of Korea in the first semifinal tomorrow.
However hard the Indian tried, the 10th standard student from Sadashivanagar’s Poorna Pranja Education Centre in Bengaluru could not counter the pace of Romanian.
The two Indian boys, Mudit Dani and Siddhesh Pandey, finished thirteen those in 13-16 brackets are considered 13th but national champion Siddhesh had a far better junior finals outing than Mudit. Siddhesh, who was a last-minute entrant owing to the pullout by Qatari Abdulrahman Al-Naggar, not only justified his inclusion but even performed beyond expectations. He should have won a couple of close encounters but lacked maturity at crucial junctures.
Mudit, on the other hand, has had wider exposures outside the country and gained entry because of his better world rankings. Yet when it came to performing in the finals here, Mudit fell short of expectations as he failed to take a single game off his opponents in all the matches.
Junior Boys: Quarterfinals: Zhang Kai (USA) bt Chun-Yu Tsai (TPE) 4-3 (7-11, 11-9, 9-11, 5-11, 11-4, 11-4, 12-10), Izumo Takuto (JPN) bt Darko Jorgic (SLO) 4-3 (11-8, 10-12, 11-9, 11-8, 10-12, 9-11, 11-9).
Junior Girls: Quarterfinals: Adina Diaconu (ROU) bt Archana Girish Kamath (IND) 4-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-4, 11-6), Park Seri (KOR) bt Lin Chia-Hsuan (TPE) 4-0 (14-12, 13-11, 13-11, 14-12).