RP-SG Mavericks, hitherto unbeaten, face Falcons TTC, who have just one defeat against their name, in the tie that concludes the first stage of the CEAT UTT 2018. They meet in Kolkata on the evening of Thursday 28th June.
Both outfits will be in the semi-finals; the result will determine who awaits in the penultimate round.
Furthermore, both teams enter the concluding contest having finished the fourth round of ties in a successful manner in New Delhi. Falcons recorded a resounding 16-5 win against Empowerji Challengers, rather more closely RP-SG Mavericks secured an 11-10 success in opposition to Warriors.
Mainstay of the Falcons progress is Liam Pitchford; to date he is unbeaten in the League. Notably against Empowerji Challenger he inflicted the only defeat of the whole campaign on Tiago Apolonia, recording a 2-1 success.
However, if there is a Falcons player in form, it is Bernadette Szocs. She has formed an outstanding doubles partnership with Sanil Shetty. Against Empowerji Challengers the duo recorded a 3-0 win against Manav Thakkar and Georgina Pota before Szocs succeeded by the very same margin when facing Lee Ho Ching.
Adding to the team’s success, Matilda Ekholm has proved safe and secure, whilst Sutirtha Mukherjee has emerged more than a handful for foreign opponents.
Similarly, just as Matilda Ekholm has proved most reliable for Falcons, so has Doo Hoi Kem for RP-SG Mavericks. In the most recent contest against Warriors, she secured a 2-1 win against Sofia Polcanova, having earlier in the day experienced defeat by the same margin in the Mixed Doubles contest when partnering Harmeet Desai against Achanta Sharath Kamal and Hana Matelova. A reverse but make no mistake, Harmeet Desai and Doo Hoi Kem form a partnership of note.
Equally, Harmeet Desai improves by the match; against Warriors he caused an upset of note by overcoming Quadri Aruna 2-1.
Meanwhile, both Mattias Karlsson and Sabine Winter have been ever consistent, whilst Ayhika Mukherjee with her somewhat unusual style of play, using a racket with short pimpled rubber on one side and anti-spin on the other has caused havoc.
The winner is just too close to call and that is the very nature of competition at CEAT UTT 2018; it is fascinating.