Star paddler G Sathiyan won both his singles, including the one against world number 9 Dang Qiu, to script India's stunning 3-1 win over second seeds Germany in the group stage of the World Table Tennis Championships 2022 in Chengdu on Sunday.
World number 37 Sathiyan won two gruelling deciders, first against 36th ranked Duda Benedikt (11-13, 4-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-9) before edging out Germany's highest-ranked player Qiu (10-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9).
In both the matches, Sathiyan staged a strong fightback after losing the first two games. “The match against Qiu was definitely much tougher. He is a top-10 player. It was a high quality match as well,” Sathiyan told PTI.
India number 2 Harmeet Desai had lost the second singles to Qui 1-2 (7-11, 9-11, 13-11, 3-11) before Manav Thakkar helped his team go 2-1 up with a 3-1 (13-11, 6-11, 11-8, 12-10) win over higher-ranked Ricardo Walther.
The 17th-ranked India had beaten Uzbekistan in their opening group game on Saturday. They need to finish in the top two to advance to the pre-quarterfinals.
In the women's draw, India recorded their first win of the group stage with a 3-0 result over Czech Republic. The Manika Batra-led side had lost to Germany on Saturday.
Manika defeated Hana Matelova 3-1 (11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 12-10 ) in the first singles before Akula Sreeja and Diya Chitale won their singles against Marketa Sevcikova and Katerina Tomanovska, 3-0 and 3-1 respectively.
It was a close affair between Diya and Katerina before the Indian prevailed 11-13, 15-13, 12-10, 14-12. Down two game points in the fourth game, Diya relied on her serve to make it 10-10 before winning a spectacular rally.
Katerina made it 12-12 before the India got the couple of points she needed to complete a fine win.