Pallabi Kundu and Anirban Nandi walked the talk forgetting Thursday’s disappointment in the team finals of the Keventer 72nd senior national and inter-state championships to gatecrash into the pre-quarter finals of the singles competitions here on Friday.
Having squandered a two-game lead for the second time in a little over 24 hours, Kundu, 21, showed character to upset Beijing Olympian Neha Aggarwal of Delhi 4-3 and set up a round-of-16 clash with Susmita Ray of Petroleum Sports Control Board (PSPB).
True, Aggarwal doesn’t have the kind of vicious top-spin that K Shamini unleashed on Thursday to claw back in the third rubber of the women’s team final saving four match point but Kundu said she has always struggled against her serve.
“I also told myself to forget what happened yesterday. It would have been impossible to play otherwise,” said the paddler from Barrackpore, a suburb in the northern fringes of Kolkata.
Shreya Ghosh of the Railways posted the most important win of her nascent senior-level career, taking out PSPB’s Divya Deshpande 4-3 also after blowing a two-game lead. Ghosh is a former national cadet and sub-junior runner-up and a national junior bronze winner making her debut in the senior championships here. She plays Nandita Saha who blanked veteran N Arul Selvi 4-0 for a berth in the quarter-finals.
Nandi showed beating Aniket Koparkar of Maharashtra on Wednesday in the team championship semi-final was no fluke, doing it again to send the eighth seed out. “It was against him that it all started,” Nandi said after the 4-1 win.
His form and ranking has slumped in 2010 and Nandi put it down to a lack of motivation following exclusion from the CWG probables’ list.
“And then my ranking fell so low that I would run into top opponents in the first round,” said Nandi who exited in the first rounds of the East, South, West zone meets and the inter-institutional last year.
“Also, beating Soumyadeep Roy yesterday (in the team championship final).” Nandi meets Zubin Kumar in the pre-quarter finals.
Shamini and Madhurika Patkar lost 1-3 in the double quarter-finals to Air India’s Prajakta Tipale and Shweta Parte. Achanta Sharath Kamal blanked Tanmay Dutta and Sourav Roy 4-0 to begin his quest for a fifth straight national singles title.