Wu Yang handed Han Ying her first defeat in the tournament, as Falcons TTC won the inaugural edition of CEAT UTT by defeating Shazé Challengers 14-9 at the NSCI stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.
With a huge roar from the packed Sunday crowd, Sanil Shetty faced Li Ping in the opening Match of the Tie. Both players fought tooth and nail in the first two Games but Ping held his composure and bagged it 11-9 and 11-10. Shetty staged a great comeback in the final Game and with a couple of exceptional forehand winners, he won it 11-7 to give the first point to the Falcons.
In the second Match of the Tie, Wu Yang swept aside Mouma Das of Shazé Challengers 3-0 to give Falcons a 4-2 lead. Das started off aggressively and was leading 5-2 in the opening Game but she couldn’t sustain the initial momentum, as Yang rallied back and won the Game 11-6. The Chinese paddler was all over Das in the next two Games, and won it easily 11-2 and 11-3.
Sanil Shetty and Lee Ho Ching produced a stand-out performance to rout the in-form duo of Soumyajit Ghosh and Petrissa Solja 3-0 in the third Match of the Tie. The Falcons pair were brilliant throughout the Match and never allowed Ghosh and Solja to get into any rhythm. After losing the first two Games easily, Ghosh and Solja were leading 6-1, but Shetty and Ching rallied back and won it 11-8 to give Falcons a healthy lead of 7-2.
Andrej Gacina got the better off in-form Liam Pitchford 2-1 in the fourth Match of the Tie. Pitchford had no answer to Gacina’s aggressive brand of table tennis in the first Game, as the Challengers skipper bagged it with ease 11-3. Pitchford came back and won the tight second Game at 11-10, before Gacina picked up pace and regained the initiative in the decisive Game to win it 11-7.
The fifth Match of the Tie saw the clash of the titans as Falcons’ Wu Yang faced Han Ying of Shazé Challengers. The Chinese paddler earned the first point after an astonishing 57 shot rally, and throughout the Game, both players went neck and neck, but it was Wu Yang who got the better off the German in the Golden Point. After winning the first Game, Wu Yang’s confidence seemed high and there were no real alarms, as she grabbed the second Game 11-4. Ying was leading in the third Game but Yang hit some stunning winners to claw back from 4-7 to 7-7, before sealing the Game 11-8 to strengthen the Falcons’ grip on the Tie at 11-4. With this victory, Yang not exacted revenge for her previous loss, but also handed Han Ying her first defeat in the tournament.
Liam Pitchford came back to face Soumyajit Ghosh in the sixth Match of the Tie. Ghosh came up with some incredible forehand shots and won the opening Game comprehensively 11-5. But he couldn’t replicate his performance in the next two, as Pitchford roared back and took the tight second Game 11-10, followed by the third at 11-7, to put Falcons TTC on the verge of clinching the title.
In the seventh Match of the Tie, Han Ying secured a thumping 3-0 win over Sutirtha Mukherjee. The Indian paddler showed tenacity and won some spectacular rallies, but Ying was in total command and eventually won the Match, 11-4, 11-8 and 11-7.
Par Gerell faced Li Ping in the eighth Match of the Tie. After losing the first Game, Gerell sealed the Tie 14-9 in favour of his team by winning the second Game 11-9.