Indian table tennis player Sathiyan Gnanasekaran started off on a winning note in his first Polish Superliga game, winning the singles match for his team Sokolow S.A. Jaroslaw. This win marked his return to competitive table tennis since the imposition of the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sathiyan faced off against Szymon Malicki in the first match of the tie between Sokolow S.A. Jaroslaw and AZS AWFiS Balta Gdansk. He defeated his opponent Malicki in a five-game thriller which ended in a scoreline of 11-3, 5-11, 11-8, 12-14, 11-5.
After starting out strong in the first game and closing it out 11-3, Sathiyan faltered, losing 5-11 to Malicki. He regained his composure and took a 2-1 lead in the match and put pressure on his opponent. However, Malicki came out with intensity in the fourth game and took a 10-8 lead over Sathiyan.
The Indian paddler fought back to draw level after saving two game points, and even had a match point of his own, but a few unforced errors cost him the game and took it to the decider. Sathiyan held his own in the deciding game and won the match with an 11-5 win.
Sathiyan back in action after a long lockdown hiatus
The World No. 32 Sathiyan played his first match after an extended break due to the lockdown in the country, and was ecstatic to get back to the court and win on his return.
"It's a great feeling to start with a win despite not being at my best. I was quite rusty and my game was on and off. But thankfully, I hit the top gear in the last game and found my rhythm. I was able to move better and played with more confidence. Hopefully, I can take this momentum into the upcoming matches," he said.
After his win, Jaroslaw won two more matches to close out the tie with a 3-1 scoreline, defeating AWFiS Balta to rise to the sixth position in the Polish Superliga points table.
Sathiyan will be in action for his team again on Sunday, when they take on ASTS Olimpia-Unia Grudziadz in the Round 10 fixture of the Superliga.Published 17 Oct 2020, 14:55 IST