Indian table tennis ace G Sathiyan began his men’s singles campaign in the USD 2 million Singapore Smash 2022 tournament on a winning note when he beat Peng Yew En Koen of Chinese Taipei 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8 in the first round on Saturday. (More Sports News)
The 33rd-ranked Sathiyan, who dropped the second game, didn't have to worry too much against the player ranked No. 140. Yet, the Taipei paddler ran him too close for comfort in the third game before Sathiyan prevailed to go 2-1 up. Soon after, Sathiyan completed the job without a fuss.
He will be up next against South Korean Lim Jonghoon (No. 59), who defeated Chinese Lin Gaoyuan (No. 8) in a Round of 64 match. But, Sharath Kamal went down to Sweden's Anton Kallberg 1-3 (11-6, 7-11, 6-11, 8-11) in less than 40 minutes.
After going 1-0 up in the match, the world number 34 Indian veteran lost the next three against the Swede, ranked No. 31 in the world. Another Indian ace Manika Batra also failed to capitalise on a hard-fought win in the first game against Mo Zhang to make her exit in the first round.
Manika, who is ranked 46, lost the initiative when the Canadian player of Chinese origin, ranked four places ahead of her, won the next two games on extended points to lead 2-1. In the fourth game, both were neck and neck at 5-5, but the Canadian led 8-7 before wrapping up the match 12-14, 12-10, 13-11, 11-8.
#India's #SathiyanGnanasekaran 🇮🇳 picks up a hard-fought victory over #Singapore's #PangYewEnKoen 🇸🇬 👏#WTTSingaporeSmash LIVE 👉 https://t.co/n3fDYgyyrp— World Table Tennis (@WTTGlobal) March 12, 2022
Tickets 👉 https://t.co/c3f0yq8936#WTTGrandSmash #AGrandNewLegacyBegins #WTT #TableTennis #MySgSportsHub @sgsportshub pic.twitter.com/YM1fVvzaer
Meanwhile, Suhana Saini and Yashaswini Ghorpade of India bagged their first gold when they defeated Elena Zaharia and Luciana Mitrofan of Romania in straight games (11-9, 11-7, 11-6) in the WTT Youth Star Contender Doha 2022 on Friday night.
No other Indian, individually or as a pair, has ever achieved the feat in Star Contender championships before.
The second-seeded Suhana and Yashaswini had accounted for the Taipei and French combination of Huang Yu-Jin and Charlotte Lutz 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7 in the quarterfinals and followed it up with a win over the Italian duo of Sophie Earley and Nicole Arlia 11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5 in the semi-finals.