Table Tennis: Mixed luck for India as Sharath wins, Sathiyan bows out of WTT Contender
New Delhi, March 3, 2021
It was a day of mixed luck for Indian paddlers as Achanta Sharath Kamal opened his campaign season with an impressive victory while Gnanasekaran Sathiyan crashed out in the opening round of the World Table Tennis Contender at Doha today.
Sharath, the world no. 32, defeated Czech Republic’s Pavel Sirucek 17-15, 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 in the men singles opening round while Sathiyan, who also secured a direct entry into the main draw, suffered an 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 loss at the hands of star African paddler and World No. 20 Aruna Quadri in the Round-of-32.
Sharath struggled initially when he trailed by five points in the first game before recovering well with a strong counter attacking display to take an early 1-0 lead in the match.
Despite losing the next game, nine-time national champion kept firing attacking shots to bag the third set comfortably.
Sirucek, a World No. 51, who played a lead role in India’s defeat at the Team Olympic Qualifier last year, managed to come back in the fourth game but seasoned campaigner Sharath held his nerves in the deciding game and won 3-2 .
Sharath faces a strong challenge from World No. 7 Lin Yun-Ju of Chinese Taipei in the pre-quarters on Thursday.