Sabhya goes down fighting to Wang

India junior Sabhya Virmani stretched favourite Wang Yuhao of China in a hard-fought battle before going down 11-6, 3-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-13, 11-7, 12-10 in the junior boys pre-quarterfinals of the USD 8000 Reliance India Junior and Cadet Open table tennis championships here on Saturday.

In cadet girls quarterfinals, the Sub-junior national champion and second seed Sagarika Mukherjee faced a stiff challenge from a spirited Aishwarya Pathak before prevailing 3-1 in the all-India contest at the NSCI-Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium.

While Srushti Haleangadi beat compatriot Moumita Dutta to enter the semifinals of the Cadet Girls.

In cadet boys’ category, top seed Anirban Ghosh rallied from 1-2 to beat Ayush Tayal 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7 in another thriller, which included winning the crucial fourth over extra points.

In a contest that went down to the wire, fourth-ranked Virmani played his heart out while surging to a 3-2 lead. After trailing 1-2, the 17-year-old Indian stepped up the pace to snatch the fourth and fifth games in the best of seven contest, including winning the latter over extra points.

But Wang battled back and changed his strategy in the decider.

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