Treta reaches Natl semis in dream debut

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Kolkata, Dec 20: Giant killer Treta Bhattacharya is the most talked about player in the National Garsscourt Championships 07 having registered a semi-final berth in her maiden appearance in the tournament slaying three seeds on her way.

Today Treta, a city girl, had a humdinger of a game, overcoming her senior pro Ragini Vimal in a three setter 6/4, 5/7, 6/4-- in two hours seven minutes. By her own admission she is comfortable both on clay and grass and her preparation some three days before the tournament helped her during the championship. Ragini Vimal, seeded sixth in the championship, was surprised by the sharp returns and court presence of the 16year old appearing for her Boards this year from Open school of Assembly of Gods' Church.

After the match Treta said, ''I am very excited and happy. This is my first senior Nationals and to have gone so far is an achievement. I didn't expect to reach this big. But I am focussed and taking one match at a time.'' Asked about her opponent and eighth seed Shalini Sahoo tomorrow, she said, ''It will be a tough match. I have seen a little of her game and she plays really well.'' Immediately after the match she called up her father, who is with the merchant navy and reported in details about her match. ''He is seafaring for seven months. For the remaining five months he guides me. I also have Krishanu Dey.'' A product of the BTA Elite Programme, she practices thrice a week at Calcutta Gymkhana, BTA and South Club. ''The Elite programme has helped me a lot. It has improved all aspects of my game,'' she said.

She heads to Chandigarh in the New Year to play an ITF Juniors, before returning to Kolkata for another ITF and then will head for Bangladesh for three ITFs. ''After that I will take a break for two months. I have my Boards in April. But I will be playing in the Women's circuit next year onwards,'' Treta said.

Exceptionally strong on her backhand, she also has the gifted agility and a powerful forehand that makes her a formidable pint-sized opponent. ''My backhand is very strong. My fitness and agility also helps me with my returns.''

UNI

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