G Sathiyan starts with victory, Sharath and Manika retire from Singapore Smash event
Indian table tennis ace G Sathiyan started his men’s singles campaign in the 2022 Singapore $2m Smash tournament on a winning note when he beat Peng Yew En Koen of Chinese Taipei 11-6, 8 -11, 11-9, 11-8 in the first round on Saturday.
No. 33-ranked Sathiyan, who dropped out in game two, didn’t have to worry too much against the No. 140-ranked player. Still, the Taipei paddler ran him too close for comfort in game three before Sathiyan won to go 2-1 up. Soon after, Sathiyan finished the job without a fuss.
He will then face the winner of the match of the 64th final between the Chinese Lin Gaoyuan (n°8) and the South Korean Lim Jonghoon (n°59).
But Sharath Kamal lost to Sweden’s Anton Kallberg 1-3 (11-6, 7-11, 6-11, 8-11) in less than 40 minutes.
After leading 1-0 in the match, the veteran world No. 34 Indian lost the next three to the world No. 31-ranked Swede.
Another Indian ace, Manika Batra, also failed to capitalize on a hard-fought win in the opener against Mo Zhang to make her first-round exit.
Manika, who is ranked 46th, lost the initiative when the Chinese-Canadian player, ranked four places ahead of her, won the next two games on overtime to lead 2-1. In game four, the two were neck and neck at 5-5, but the Canadian led 8-7 before finishing the match 12-14, 12-10, 13-11, 11-8.
Meanwhile, Suhana Saini and Yashaswini Ghorpade of India clinched their first gold medal beating Elena Zaharia and Luciana Mitrofan of Romania in back-to-back matches (11-9, 11-7, 11-6) during the WTT Youth Star Contender Doha 2022 on Friday evening. .
No other Indian, individually or in pairs, has ever achieved the feat in the Star Contender Championships before.
Second seeds Suhana and Yashaswini had accounted for the Taipei and France combination of Huang Yu-Jin and Charlotte Lutz 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7 in the quarterfinals and chained it with a victory over the Italian. duet of Sophie Earley and Nicole Arlia 11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5 in the semi-final.
The Indians received a bye in the first round, as did the Romanians.
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