Indian para table tennis player Bhavina Patel stormed into the finals of the Commonwealth Games women’s singles event in class 3-5 category. Winning the best-of-five encounter in straight sets by the identical score of 11-6, 11-6, 11-6, the paddler did not give her English opponent- Sue Bailey- a sniff. Dominant on her serve, barring a brief blip in game two, she kept rallies to a minimum, closing out points within three shots on average.

Also Read: Watch: Para powerlifter Sudhir’s gold-winning lift at CWG 2022

Bailey was weak on serve, allowing Bhavina to boss her, even when the latter was off-range on her service. The Indian won only three points off her serve in the second game but still managed to win comfortably, owing to Bailey’s struggles on the same. The Mehsana-born Tokyo silver medallist also made a habit of winning a long sequence of points consecutively- 3 in G1, 6 in G2 and 5 in G3 compared to Bailey’s match best of two- helping her build momentum against the home favourite, cheered on by the locals in typical Brummie spirit.

Bhavina will compete for gold against Nigerian Ifechukwude Christiana Ikpeoyi in tomorrow’s final. The two have already played in Birmingham, with the 35-year-old Indian handing her a straight loss in the earlier rounds. Such has been Bhavina’s dominance in the Games so far, she has only dropped a solitary set across her four matches. The slight drop-off came in her opening encounter against Australian Daniela di Toro. Losing the first game 8-11, she fought back to win the next three -11-4, 11-7, 11-9.

Also Read: CWG 2022: Rosemary Lenton, 72, bags gold, becomes Scotland’s oldest medallist

Before today’s semis, the possibility of a Gujarat derby in the singles final loomed large over the table tennis show courts. While Bhavina held her end of the bargain, Sonalben Patel’s defeat to Christina Ikpeoyi killed off chances of an Indian one-two in the para event. Sonalben stands a chance at sealing bronze but will have to overcome Bhavina’s opponent, Sue Bailey.