MSSA: Siya Singh and Aalisha Naik all set to battle

Updated: Sep 14, 2019, 08:52 IST | Gordon Dcosta

No. 1 Siya Singh, No. 2 Aalisha Naik win their respective matches and are confident of beating each other in likely under-14 final, a repeat of last year

MSSA: Siya Singh and Aalisha Naik all set to battle
Aalisha Naik during her MSSA U-14 singles match at the Cricket Club of India yesterday. Pics/ Suresh Karkera

Last year's champion Siya Singh and runner-up Aalisha Naik, who are also the top two seeds, look to be heading for another final showdown.

The top seed Siya of Fatima High School (Vidyavihar) and second seed Aalisha of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Vidyalaya (Malad) easily won their respective girls' under-14 singles round of 64 matches of the CCI-MSSA inter-school badminton tournament at the CCI courts yesterday.

The tall and lanky Siya dominated her match against Ananya Shah of Dhirubhai Ambani International (BKC) and raced to a 15-7 victory, while Aalisha also faced little opposition from Ritu Shah of St Peter's School (Mazagaon) and cruised to a fluent 15-4 win as both advanced to the Round of 32.

Siya and Aalisha, confidently stated that they would both go the distance. "I don't see any one who is capable of stopping us from reaching the final. Last year, I fought back to emerge champion and expect another keen contest. I had lost the first game and was trailing 11-16 in the second, but I managed to level scores at 16 before winning 21-17. Thereafter, I dominated the decider winning at 21-11 to clinch the title and I am hoping to retain my crown," Siya told mid-day.

Siya SinghSiya Singh during her MSSA U-14 singles match at the Cricket Club of India yesterday

Aalisha mentioned that she is determined to win it this time. "Siya and me are fierce rivals on court, but good friends off it. Last year, I made some silly mistakes and lost the final, but this time I am prepared to give it my best shot. I have learned from those mistakes and working on cutting them down as I aim to avenge that defeat and become the champion," revealed Aalisha.

Meanwhile, Taarini Suri of JB Petit High School (Fort) outshone Ashna Shome of Thakur Public School (Kandivli) 15-2 and Nirmitee Gajbhiye of Ryan International (Goregaon) tamed Anaaya Agrawal of Dhirubhai Ambani 15-1.

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