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Ankur Bhattacharjee sensational

Saturday 18 September

A total outsider, no prior international success of note, no world ranking, India’s Ankur Bhattacharjee defied all the odds at the WTT Youth Contender Tunis tournament on Friday 17th September.

Ankur Bhattacharjee, surprise semi-finalists

He ended the day, a step on the podium guaranteed, a semi-final place booked, a most incredible performance.

Sensationally in his opening match, he made the most stunning start to his international career; he beat Belgium’s Louis Laffineur, the top seed (11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5), prior to overcoming Tunisia’s Youssef Abid (11-6, 11-7, 13-11) to reserve his place in the main draw.

Clearly full of confidence, he continued he quite stupendous form. He overcame Tunisia’s Islem Ramoul (11-5, 11-8, 11-8) and Remi-Chambet-Weil of the Netherlands (7-11, 11-6, 8-11, 15-13, 11-6) to reserve a place in the penultimate round.

Awaiting is Tom Closset, like Louis Laffineur from Belgium; notably at the quarter-final stage he ousted Yemen’s Ibrahim Gubran, the no.5 seed (11-9, 11-5, 11-7).

Unexpected success for India, in the opposite half of the draw it was expected success. Payas Jain, the no.2 seed meets Preyesh Suresh Raj, the no.3 seed.

Safely through the initial group stage in first place, Payas Jain inflicted more pain on the shoulders of Louis Laffineur. He ended the Belgian’s hopes in five games (11-8, 13-11, 5-11, 6-11, 11-6), prior to ousting colleague Shankhadip Das (11-5, 11-7, 11-9) to reserve his penultimate round berth.

Impressive from Payas Jain, it was even more so from Preyesh Suresh Raj; not one single game was surrendered as he progressed to the semi-final round. First place in his group, he ousted Qatar’s Khalid Alyafei (11-9, 16-14, 11-8), before ending the hopes of Tunisia’s Khalil Sta, the no.8 seed (11-5, 11-8, 11-7).

Noteworthy success for India, it was the same in the under 13 boys’ singles, Atherva Gupta progressed; however, the super trouper spotlight was directed to Qatar. Ahmed Korami and Rawad Alnaser both booked semi-final places

Ahmed Korami beat Nigeria’s Mustapha Mustapha (11-5, 11-7, 10-12, 11-7) and now confronts the host nation’s Wassim Essid, the quarter-final winner in opposition to India’s Srivan Sivam (12-10, 11-6, 11-6).

In the opposite half of the draw Rawad Alnaser and Atheva Gupta meet.

At the quarter-final stage both beat Indian adversaries. Rawad Alnaser accounted for Sudhanshu Maini (11-5, 11-8, 6-11, 6-11, 11-1), Atheva Gupta ended the aspirations of Nikkil Mannath Menon (11-7, 11-5, 11-6).

The semi-finals and finals of the under 17 and under 15 boys’ singles events will be played on Saturday 18th September, the day in which play starts in the under 19 boys’ singles, under 15 boys’ singles and under 11 boys’ singles competitions.

Editor: Ian Marshall

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