WTT Contender: Sharath Kamal makes winning start; G Sathiyan falters in opening round

Table Tennis - Commonwealth Games Day 11
Table Tennis - Commonwealth Games Day 11
Kaushiik Paul

World No. 32 paddler, India's Sharath Kamal had to dig deep to beat Pavel Sirucek in the men’s singles round-of-32 clash at the ongoing WTT Contender in Doha on Wednesday (March 3).

However, it was all curtains for G Sathiyan, who lost to Aruna Quadri on the same day. With the Tokyo Olympics fast approaching, the WTT Contender serves as a preparation for the upcoming Asian Qualifiers.

Kamal, who was playing an international opponent for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, registered a 17-15, 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 victory against his Czech counterpart. He is now the only Indian left in the men’s singles category after Sathiyan’s exit.

ALSO READ: Manika Batra, Harmeet Desai register easy wins in qualifying rounds of WTT Contender series

Sharath Kamal overcomes initial rustiness to register victory

Sharath Kamal
Sharath Kamal

Despite the initial rustiness, Sharath Kamal came back strong to pocket the opening game. However, Sirucek won the next game to make it 1-1 before the Indian paddler won the third to regain his lead. World No. 51 Sirucek then won the fourth game to force a decider.

The nine-time national champion eventually had the last laugh as he held his nerves to come out triumphant and register his maiden win of the campaign. He will next meet Taiwanese Lin Yun-ju who defeated Benedikt Duda of Germany 9-11, 12-10, 15-17, 11-9, 11-6.

On the other hand, Sathiyan was no match for his Nigerian opponent, losing 7-11, 4-11, 8-11. World No.20 Quadri dominated from the start and gave Sathiyan little room.

Sharath Kamal-Sathiyan duo lose doubles encounter

The Sharath Kamal-Sathiyan duo was outclassed in their men’s doubles encounter against Argentine pair Gaston Alto and Horacio Cifuentes in straight games - 12-14, 7-11, 3-11. Although the Indians made a desperate attempt in the first game, they looked completely out of sorts in the next two.

India will begin their campaign in mixed doubles when Sathiyan pairs up with Sutirtha Mukherjee to take on French duo Emmanuel Lebesson & Nan Jia Yuan.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava


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