The Indian challenge at the Volkswagen 2012 World Junior table tennis championships came to an end when Ayhika Mukerjee and Suthirtha Mukherjee lost their respective pre-quarterfinal matches in Hyderabad on Saturday.
Ayhika proved to the best among the Indian lot as she managed to take a game off her US opponent Zhang Lily, going down 11-9, 7-11, 6-11, 4-11, 7-11 while Suthirtha succumbed to the Chinese second seed Gu Yuting in straight sets.
"After winning the first game, I should have attacked more but Lily was too good with her backhand scorchers. She blocked well and her returns were too good," said the 15-year-old Kolkatan.
But Suthirtha found herself pitted against a red hot Gu Yuting who is expected to reach the final o the event.
Expectedly, Gu sent down a barrage of forehands and backhands straightaway, unsettling the Indian. The pattern continued throughout the 25-minute match which the second seed won 11-2, 11-6, 11-3, 11-3.
Nevertheless, Suthirtha was happy with her performance.
"I got the right exposure here and I am happy about it. Playing against Gu was intriguing and it showed when I stood against an opponent of her calibre," confessed Suthirtha.
Meanwhile, fifth seed Germany's Solja Petrissa, who had beaten top seed Zhu Yuling in the team championships the other day, punctured the pride of China yet again, toppling fourth seed Liu Gayong 4-2 to earn her entry into the semi-finals where she will taken on Zhu Yuling on Sunday. In girls' other quarter-finals, Zhu Yuling had her anxious moments before overcoming her Romanian opponent Bernadette Szocs 4-0 while Gu Yuting accounted for seventh seed Ayuka
Tanioka of Japan 4-0 and fourth seed Gu Ruochen defeated Lily Zhang, the tenth seed, by the same margin of 4-0.
The other semi-final pits Gu Yuting against Gu Ruochen.
In the boys' section, two other seeds fell by the wayside in the morning when fifth and sixth seed Asuka Sakai from Japan in the top half and Tristan Flore from France, respectively, bowed out in the round of 16.
Sakai lost to unseeded Fan Shengpeng 1-4 while another unseeded Chinese Zu Chenhao blanked out Flore 4-0.
Junior Boys: Fan Zhendong (Chn) bt Yuto Muramatsu (Jpn) 11-7, 11-9, 13-11, 9-11, 12-10, Fan Shengpeng (Chn) bt Simon Gauzy (Fra) 8-11, 11-8, 11-13, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, Xu Chenhao (Chn) bt Benedikt (Ger) 11-9, 11-4, 11-7, 12-10, Lin Gaoyuan (Chn) bt Yoshida Masaki (Jpn) 13-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-5.
Junior Girls: Solja Petrissa (Ger) bt Liu Gaoyang 6-11, 7-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8, Zhu Yuling (Chn) bt Bernadette Szocs (Rou) 11-8, 12-10, 11-6, 15-13, Gu Yuting (Chn) bt Ayuka Tanioka (Jap) 11-7, 12-10, 13-11, 11-3, Gu Ruochen (Chn) bt Lily Zhang (USA) 11-6, 11-2, 11-5, 11-9.