Manika, Pitchford among players to watch out for in CEAT UTT Season 2 final
The table tennis extravaganza, CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) Season 2 powered by Kellogg’s, is all set to reveal the new Champions, as Falcons TTC and Dabang Smashers face off in the final. Both teams have been dominant throughout the season and it evokes little surprise to think that sparks will fly when the ace competitors from both sides clash in the showdown. While every match will have the charm of its own, few are bound to stand out.
For the Falcons, Liam Pitchford will definitely grab a lot of attention, for he has been beaten only once in the CEAT UTT. In the previous meeting of the teams, Pitchford was pitted against Masaki Yoshida from the Smashers, whom he defeated 2-1 (11-10, 11-9, 11-6). Looking at how close Yoshida came to defeat the Englishman, it is highly possible to see these two have a meet-up again.
Another match that will be interesting to see will be the doubles match. Since the beginning, both teams have stuck to same set of players for the doubles – Smashers with Sathiyan Gnansekaran-Sakura Mori and Falcons with Sanil Shetty-Bernadette Szocs. Both pairs have a high success rate, but the former had emerged victorious the last time they locked horns.
Manika Batra has been one of the most successful Indian player in the league, and she received tough competition from a seasoned Matilda Ekholm. Their match was so intense that two games were decided by a Golden Point. Batra’s intelligent use of top spin was the perfect counter to Ekholm’s strong forehand and athleticism.
Sathiyan’s singles match, and the performance of prodigy Adriana Diaz under pressure, will also interest the lovers of the game.
All in all, with all the top players pumped up and in good form, an action-packed final is on the cards at the Netaji Indoor Stadium, Kolkata.