Former national level TT player during late 70s and early 80s, Ulhas Shirke made his comeback at the competitive level last year, after a long gap of 30 years. With his advancing age, it was difficult for him to adjust with the speed and anti spin techniques with the new rubbers used by players today. But, he managed it well one tournament after the other. He played almost all the ranking tournaments, which were held at places like Nashik, Chiplun and Pune and finally found his place in Maharashtra Veterans’ ‘A’ team, which won Gold medal at the National Championship held few month ago in Pune.
Now, last week he gave his best in the very first State Ranking tournament of 2017 season, when he went on to win the title in men’s 64+ category. In just a day’s time, he will be completing 65 and there is no better gift than this trophy for him on this occasion. In this tournament, Ulhas defeated the current national champion Deepak Dudhane in well fought 5 games battle. But, before that he had knocked out second seed Satish Kulkarni and 3rd seeded Pinakin Sampat in straight games to reach the finals.
Another Mumbai player, evergreen Prakash Kelkar displayed his wonderful top spin attack, while overcoming the stiff resistance from his friend K.K.Rai, also from Mumbai. Incidentally, both of them have also played at the international level in this veterans’ category.
The results of other finals played in different categories are as fiollows :
Men’s 40+ Manish Rawat bt Sameer Bhate 3-1
Women’s 40+ Sushma( Leena) Mogre bt Trupti Machve 3-0
Men’s 50+ Sunil Babras bt Ajay Kothavle 3-1
Women’s 50+ Dr.Anagha kale beat Ms. M.Pandit 3-0
Men’s 60+ Prakash kelkar bt K.K.Rai 3-2
Women’s 60+ Mangal Saraf bt Rajeshwari Mhetre 3-0
Men’s 64+ Ulhas Shirke bt Deepak Dudhane 3-2
Men’s 69+ Subodh Deshpande bt Mr. Shirsat
Men’s 75+ Zarir Khandadia bt Dr. Mulye 3-0