Ultimate Table Tennis 2017: Achanta Sharath Kamal helps RP-SG Mavericks edge past Dabang Smashers TTC
Achanta Sharath Kamal's victory made an impact to RP-SG Mavericks who posted a narrow 14-13 win over Dabang Smashers TTC to post their first victory in the league
Chennai: It was a good day for Chennai paddlers as A Sharath Kamal and G Sathiyan pulled off wins over higher-ranked opponents in the Ultimate Table Tennis in Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor stadium on Thursday.
Kamal's victory made an impact to RP-SG Mavericks who posted a narrow 14-13 win over Dabang Smashers TTC.
It was Mavericks' first win in the tournament, after suffering defeats at the hands of Falcons TTC and Maharashtra United in earlier matches.
Kamal got the better of World No 14 Marcos Freitas of Portugal 11-8 11-9 5-11. It was Freitas' first loss in the tournament.
German paddler Sabine Winter blanked Madhurika Patkar 11-9 11-9 11-6 to secure three vital points for the Mavericks.
In the penultimate rubber, Freitas bounced back from his loss to Kamal, to beat Fegerl 11-5 11-5 10-11 to leave the tie interestingly poised at 13-11 in favour of the Mavericks.
The final match saw Sofia Polcanova go down to Tetyana Bilenko by two games to one after capturing the opening game. Bilenko's come-from-behind 8-11, 11-7, 11-10 victory in a thrilling encounter saw Smashers narrow the losing margin to 13-14.
Earlier in the night, Sathiyan got Smashers TTC to a winning start by getting the better of Austrian World No 23 Fegerl in the first match.
Sathiyan won 11-5, 11-9, 10-11 to underline his growing stature. Playing aggressively, the home boy kept the experienced Fegerl guessing with powerful shots on both flanks.
In the second tie, Archana Kamath took the first game against Tetyana Bilenko 11-10 but lost the next two 7-11, 8-11 to hand Smashers a 4-2 lead.
Sharath Kamal provided more joy to the home fans by joining hands with Sofia Polcanova to beat Sathiyan and Kim Song I 11-5, 11-7, 11-5 to put the Mavericks ahead 5-4.
In the fourth match, China-born Ukraine World No 28 Kou Lei of Smashers edged out Portuguese World No 31 Tiago Apolonia 2-1 (11-3, 10-11, 11-10).
At the end of the Chennai leg of UTT, the country's first ever professional table tennis league, Falcons are on top with 50 points followed by Smashers on 39 and Mavericks on 37.
Falcons TTC will meet Shaze Challengers on Friday as the action shifts to Thyagraj Stadium in New Delhi until 25 July for the second leg.
The inaugural Ultimate Table Tennis, the country's first-ever professional table tennis league, will kick off with the first leg from July 13 to 20. The league is spread across three legs in three cities.
Falcons TTC will take on DHFL Maharashtra United in the first semi-final on Friday while Shaze Challengers will meet Dabang Smashers TTC in the second semi-final on Saturday.
Ultimate Table Tennis: Portugal ace Marcos Freitas says Indian players will benefit from competition
Freitas will represent Dabang Smashers TTC in the inaugural Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT), which begins on Thursday.