City challenge ends with close losses
   Date :10-Sep-2021

Ritika Bokka_1  
 Ritika Thaker and partner upset top seeds in mixed doubles.
Sports Reporter :
Ritika-Bokka upset top seeds in pre-quarters but bow out in QF; Malvika, Rohan lose in three games 
IT WAS a day of mixed fortunes for city shuttlers in the Victor Ukraine International Series Badminton tournament in Kharkiv on Thursday. Ritika Thaker and her Hyderabad-based partner Bokka Navaneeth caused the biggest upset of the tournament accounting for top seeded pair in the mixed doubles pre-quarterfinal but went on to lose the quarters. Second seed in women’s singles Malvika Bansod lost her last-eight match to a lower ranked player. In the men’s singles pre-quarters, Rohan Gurbani went down fighting in the pre-quarters. Ritika-Bokka stunned top seeds German pair of Patrick Scheiel and Franziska Volkmann 21-16, 21-15 in straight games to enter quarter-finals.
The top seeds, who are 76th in world rankings, got beaten in 28 minutes. In the last-eight match, Ritika-Bokka lost to Ukraine’s pair of Danylo Bosniuk and Yevgeniya Paksyutova. In a see-saw first game the Indian pair lost 29-30 but surrendered completely n the second game (21-12). The match lasted 34 minutes. In the opening round, the Nagpur-Hyderabad combine had beaten Ukraine’s Mykola Shkliaiev and Anastasiia Alymova 21-4, 21-5 in 18 minutes. Bosniuk and Paksyutova had defeated 8th seeded German duo of Marvin Datko and Leona Michalski 21-15, 21-18 in 28 minutes in the pre-quarters.
In the women’s doubles, fourth seeded pair of Ritika and her regular Mumbai partner Simran Singhi were shocked by Ukraine’s Mariia Stoliarenko and Yelyzaveta Zharka 21-13, 19-21, 13-21 in a 57-minute tough battle. Malvika, earlier in the day, made light work of another Indian Anupama Upadhyaya 21-16, 21-8 in thirty-three minutes to make it to the quarters. She lost the plot against Polina Buhrova of Ukraine in three games 21-15, 5-21, 21-14 in 50 minutes. Rohan Gurbani blew a one game lead to go down fighting in the men’s singles pre-quarters. Rohan, who defeated three local players in the qualifying round and then ousted compatriot Anirudh Janardhanan in the first round, started in right earnest taking the first game 21-17 against another Ukraine player Kyrylo Leonov. But the Ukrainian fought back to pocket the close second and third games at 21-18 and 21-19 to enter quarters. The tough match that went the distance lasted almost an hour (58 minutes).