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Sathiyan Gnanasekaran wins ITTF challenge series in Spain

Nived Zenith
283   //    27 Nov 2017, 19:18 IST

Gnanasekaran celebrating his victory in Almeria
Gnanasekaran celebrating his victory in Almeria

What's the story?

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran of India has added to his already existing list of titles by beating Japan's Kazuhiro Yoshimura in the final of the men's singles event at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open held in Almeria. This is the second ITTF Challenge Series title won by an Indian player this year after Soumyajit Ghosh's triumph in Chile.

In case you didn't know...

Gnanasekaran had previously won the ITTF World Tour held in Belgium last year and continued his fine form against the no. 11 seed Yoshimura in a contest that lived up to the expectations with the former prevailing in six games.

The no.9 seed came out on top despite surrendering the lead on a couple of occasions and showed confidence to get back into the game.

Heart of the matter

Yoshimura pipped Gnanasekaran for power during the majority of the game but the control exerted by the 24-year-old Indian on the game helped him make sure that the game never went away from his hands.

While leading by two games to one in the fourth game, Gnanasekaran gave away a 4-2 lead and let Yoshimura, who had won the next 4 points, back into the game. But the Indian quickly restored parity by winning a point and making it 7-6 and called for a Time Out.

After the break, he moved further ahead with the score at 9-7 but the match sprung into life when Yoshimura took home the next three points. The match was in the balance but Gnanasekaran prevailed and came out on top winning the game.

A hard fought victory in the fifth game added fuel to Gnanasekaran's determination and he took a commanding 5-2 lead in the final game before Yoshimura called for the Time Out. However, there was no going back for the Japanese as the gap was too great and Gnanasekaran took full control.

Author's take

A proud moment for India yet again in the ITTF Challenge Series courtesy of the man from Tamil Nadu. Take a bow, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran.

Nived Zenith
An aspiring sports journalist who likes to live life on the edge. Avid reader and a life-long Chelsea fan :)
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