Puducherry: Soumyajit Ghosh defeated top-seed G. Sathiyan 4-2 to regain the men's singles crown for the second time while top-seed Mouma Das downed Poulami Ghatak, also by the same margin, for her fifth women's singles title at the 76th Senior Table Tennis Nationals here on Saturday.
Ghosh took home Rs. 2 lakh and Mouma, who was taking on Poulami for the fourth time since their first final appearance in 1998 at Ajmer, received Rs. 1.40 lakh. The runners-up in both section got half the amount as their prize money.
Ghosh, who first won the title at Raipur two years ago, had to prove a point to himself rather than his critics. And today, he showed it by beating the top seed. No doubt, Sathiyan was in a great form this season and things were even going well for him until the semifinals. But in the final, Ghosh was not only superb but also came into his attacking self.
With a comfortable 3-1 cushion, Sathiyan was playing into Ghosh's hands and the latter had to simply keep the ball on the table. In fact, that was he did with perfect placing and good, aggressive backhand winners. A rattled Sathiyan, however hard he tried, could not come to his own terms and surrendered to the guiles of Ghosh.
Meanwhile Mouma, who has been rewarded for her perseverance and longevity, was a deserving winner of the women's crown. Any new comer would have thrown in the towel after being 0-2 down, but Mouma always thrived on challenges. Launching her attack from the third game, the 32-year-old played true to her potential and outwitted Poulami with clean execution of shots from both flanks and top-spin backhand serves.
Poulami, in spite of her ability to come back any time, was somewhat hampered by Mouma's tactics and was committing far too many mistakes. Once Mouma equalised, it was always going to be difficult for Poulami to beat her opponent, known for her steely nerves.
Men's Singles: Final: Soumyajit Ghosh (PSPB) bt G. Sathiyan (PSPB) 4-2 (11-7, 9-11, 11-3, 13-11, 13-15, 11-9); Semifinals: G. Sathiyan (PSPB) bt Harmeet Desai (PSPB) 4-0 (11-9, 11-8, 11-7, 11-5), Soumyajit Ghosh (PSPB) bt Raj Mondal (RBI) 4-3 (8-11, 11-5, 4-11, 4-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-8). Doubles: Final: Sanil Shetty/Anthony Amalraj (PSPB) bt Jubin Kumar/Sourav Chakraborty (Har) 3-1 (11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7).
Women's Singles: Final: Mouma Das (PSPB) bt Poulami Ghatak (PSPB) 4-2 (7-11, 7-11, 11-3, 14-12, 11-7, 11-6); Semifinals: Mouma Das (PSPB) bt K. Shamini (PSPB) 4-3 (7-11, 13-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5), Poulami Ghatak (PSPB) bt Ankita Das (PSPB) 4-1 (11-1, 11-9, 7-11, 11-3, 11-1). Doubles: Final: Mouma Das/K. Shamini (PSPB) bt Mallika Bhandarkar/Vedika Garga (Mah-B) 3-0 (11-8, 11-3, 11-5). Mixed Doubles: Final: Raj Mondal/Krittwika Sinha Roy (RBI) bt Sourav Saha/Mousumi Paul (WB) 3-1 (7-11, 11-2, 11-1, 11-7).