India’s Anthony Amalraj and Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson essayed key roles in paving Maharashtra United’s march into the semifinals of the CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) Powered by Kellogg’s at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here on Wednesday.
In a tense encounter against Warriors TTC, United achieved their goal of advancing to the knockout stage in the sixth contest of the tie, when Karlsson tamed India’s star player Achanta Sharath Kamal 3-0 to give his side the required 11 points.
Madhurika Patkar lost the last match 0-3 but by then the fates of both the teams were sealed, with Warriors now having absolutely no chance of making it to the last four.
Romania’s Elizabeta Samara, another star for United, set the ball rolling, comprehensively beating Pooja Sahasrabuddhe 3-0. Amalraj and America’s Lily Zhang then upstaged Achanta Sharath Kamal and Sofia Polcanova 2-1 (11-10, 11-9, 6-11) to give United the crucial 5-4 advantage after the first three matches.
Elizabeta Samara also downed Sofia Polcanova 2-1 (9-11, 11-10, 11-10) in a tense battle that was decided by golden points.
Chih Yuan Huang fought a valiant battle for Warriors, winning both his singles to level the scores twice. The World No. 15 from Chinese Taipei downed Amalraj 3-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-6) as Warriors equalised the tie 3-3. He then upstaged United captain Joao Monteiro 2-1 (6-11, 11-4, 11-8) to help Warriors pull level at 6-6.
But the Polcanova and Sharath Kamal’s defeats meant that Warriors were out of the reckoning.
Warriors TTC lost Maharashtra United 10-11
Women’s singles: Pooja Sahasrabuddhe lost to Elizabeta Samara (Rom) 0-3 (6-11, 8-11, 1-11)
Men’s singles: Chih Yuan Huang (Tpe) bt Anthony Amalraj 3-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-6)
Mixed doubles: A Sharath Kamal/ Sofia Polcanova lost to Anthony Amalraj/ Lily Zhang 1-2 (10-11, 9-11, 11-6)
Men’s singles: Chih Yuan Huang bt Joao Monteiro (Por) 2-1 (6-11, 11-4, 11-8)
Women’s singles: Sofia Polcanova (Aut) lost to Elizabeta Samara 1-2 (11-9, 10-11, 10-11)
Men’s singles: A Sharath Kamal lost to Kristian Karlsson 0-3 (10-11, 3-11, 8-11)
Women’s singles: Hana Matelova (Cze) bt Madhurika Patkar 3-0 (11-9, 11-5, 11-6)
Tomorrow’s match: RP-SG Mavericks v Falcons TTC