Teenager Adriana helps Smashers seal UTT final spot
Kolkata, June 29 (PTI) In a thrilling battle of equals, Dabang Smashers got the better of a fighting Maharashtra United to enter the final of the Ultimate Table Tennis at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here today.
Japan's Sakura Mori and young Adriana Diaz of Puerto Rico scored the crucial victories to guide the Smashers to a 11-10 victory.
Mori triggered Smashers' fightback by winning the mixed doubles in the company of captain Gnanasekaran Sathiyan against Anthony Amalraj and Lily Zhang 2-1(7-11, 11-5, 11-8). She went on win the singles upstaging Lily Zhang 2-1 (7-11, 11-8, 11-6).
But it was the 17-year-old Adriana who kept her nerve to seal Smashers' final spot with a 3-0 (11-5, 11-6, 11-9) win over Madhurika Patkar. The Puerto Rican was down 1-7 in the third game but she made a sensational fightback to win it 11-9.
World No. 52 Cedric Nuytinck also played a part in Smashers success by upsetting World No. 40 Joao Monteiro 2-1 (7-11, 11-5, 11-8).
Earlier, a charged up Anthony Amalraj had put United ahead, stunning World No. 27 Yoshida Masaki 2-1 in the second clash of the tie. Romania's Elizabeta Samara and Sweden's Kristian Karlsson made the most of that upset, winning their respective singles to keep United in the hunt.
The 32-year-old Amalraj dominated his opponent, ranked 108 places above him, to win 2-1 (11-4, 11-8, 7-11) while World No. 18 Samara battled a troubled ankle to subdue Manika Batra 2-1 (11-8, 9-11, 11-10).
Karlsson's 3-0 (11-8, 11-5, 11-8) drubbing of Smashers' captain Gnanasekaran Sathiyan meant United were just one point away from a place in the final (10-8) but teenager Adriana dashed their hopes
What did you think about the performance of Dabang Smashers? Sound off your opinions in the comments section below!