Defending champions Dabang Delhi T.T.C. put up another sterling performance to be virtually assured of a semifinal berth in Ultimate Table Tennis here on Sunday.
They thrashed RP-SG Mavericks Kolkata 10-5 to join U Mumba TT level on 33 points and take the second position on the table, with World No. 30 Sathiyan G. leading from the front and amassing 5 out of the 6 possible points that he could garner.
Sathiyan won the opening Men’s Singles (3-0) and then combined with Bernadette Szocs in the Mixed Doubles to clinch a 2-1 win.
Dabang Delhi’s other foreign recruit, Jon Persson, also played a huge role in his team’s victory as he too registered a 3-0 victory in the reverse men’s singles.
Coming into the first Men’s Singles match of the evening with his team trailing 1-2, Sathiyan did not have the best start in the Men’s Singles clash and was trailing 1-3 against the World No. 53 German, Benedikt Duda. But he slowly found his rhythm and eked out an 11-9 win in the first set.
He had it rather easy in the next two games and his flurry of winners left Benedikt gasping in the match. He won the second game 11-7 with consummate ease to seal the match. With the match all but in pocket, he added to injury more as he completed the swoop with an 11-6 victory is the last game.
Up 4-2 after the first two matches, Sathiyan then paired up with World No.14 Bernadette Szocs in the Mixed Doubles encounter to take on the team of Manika Batra and Benedikt Duda. With a lot at stake for both the sides, it was Sathiyan & Bernadette who drew first blood and won the riveting opening game on golden point.
However, the RP-SG Mavericks’ pair came out strong in the next game and won it 11-5 in comprehensive manner. It looked like they would go onto win the match as they had opened a sizeable 7-4 lead. But Sathiyan & Bernadette changed gears from this point and turned the tables on their opponents to win the decider 11-8 to take a healthy 6-3 lead.
Needing just two points to win the tie, it was the World No. 63 Jon Persson who then turned on the heat and blanked Sanil Shetty 3-0 to seal the tie in his team’s favour with a match remaining.
In the reverse Women’s Singles encounter, it was the battle of the Europeans between Bernadette Szocs and Matilda Ekholm, which the latter won 2-1.
Earlier, it was Indian TT’s golden girl Manika who gave Mavericks a winning start as she launched a great comeback to beat Krittwika Sinha Roy 2-1 in the opening match of the tie.
Dabang Delhi T.T.C. bt PR-SG Mavericks Kolkata 10-5
Women’s Singles: Krittwika Sinha Roy lost to Manika Batra 1-2 (11-9, 8-11, 9-11)
Men’s Singles: Sathiyan Gnanasekaran bt Benedikt Duda 3-0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-6)
Mixed Doubles: Sathiyan Gnanasekaran/ Bernadette Szocs bt Benedikt Duda / Manika Batra 2-1 (11-10, 5-11, 11-8)
Men’s Singles: Jon Persson bt Sanil Shetty 3-0 (11-6, 11-10, 11-8)
Women’s Singles: Bernadette Szocs lost to Matilda Ekholm 1-2 (8-11, 8-11, 11-5)
Monday’s Fixture - U Mumba TT vs Goa Challengers at 7 pm on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD, Hotstar and JioTV.
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