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Falcons begin title defence tomorrow

News 13 Jun 2018, 19:12 IST
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Pune, Jun 13 (PTI) Falcons TTC are commencing their title defence in the second season of CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis here tomorrow against Maharashtra United.

Falcons' top-ranked woman player Matilda Ekholm (World No. 30) was confident her team will start well.

"We have a good chance of picking up points, she said, after her training session at the Balewadi sports complex.

"We are a strong team and are all in good shape. I am confident of defending the title," added the Swede.

Falcons camp had defeated Maharashtra United in both their ties last season.

Sanil Shetty, Priyadarshini Das, Sutirtha Mukherjee and Englishman Liam Pitchford were part of the teams success story last year and they are all seeking to extend their fine showing.

However, Falcons need to be wary of rival coach Franciso Santos, as the Portuguese would know their strengths and weaknesses, having been their own coach for Season 1and will also be aiming for a similar result with his new franchise.

Maharashtra United's World No. 19 Elizabeta Samara said that it will be a tough opener.

"They (Falcons) have many good players. But I hope we can manage to win some points. We have been preparing well and we are improving day by day," said the Romanian.

Her teammate Madhurika Patkar felt they were well prepared to take on the Falcons. "We will give our best," she said.

Maharashtra United will be banking on World No. 18 Kristian Karlsson, the highest ranked international player in the inaugural match, along with the Indians Amalraj Anthony, Selena Selvakumar and Madhurika.

Both teams will play three men's and women's singles matches each and one mixed doubles match in the tie

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