Ultimate Table Tennis 2017: Dabang Smashers edge past Oilmax-Stag Yoddhas to qualify for semis
Dabang Smashers emerged victorious in a nail-biting tie against Oilmax-Stag Yoddhas on Day 13 of the Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) at the Thyagaraj Stadium on Tuesday.
New Delhi: Dabang Smashers emerged victorious in a nail-biting tie against Oilmax-Stag Yoddhas on Day 13 of the Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) at the Thyagaraj Stadium on Tuesday.
G Sathiyan pulled off a 2-1 (11-2, 11-7, 6-11) victory over Croatian world No 75 Tomislav Pucar (Oilmax Stag Yoddhas) in the men's singles to hand Smashers an early lead.
However, Manika Batra scored an upset 2-1 (11-9, 11-9, 4-11) victory over North Korean world No 19 Kim Song-I in the women's singles to level scores at 3-all for Oilmax Stag Yoddhas.
Next up was mixed doubles and Oilmax Stag Yoddhas' pair of Nigeria's Quadri Aruna and Manika Batra rallied to beat AA Amalraj and Tetyana Bilenko 2-1 (10-11, 11-9, 11-9) and hand their team a 5-4 lead.
Kou Lei of Dabang Smashers took the first two games off Tomislav Pucar before the Croatian rallied to win the third game in the men's singles as the teams levelled at 6-all.
In the fifth match of the tie, Tetyana Bilenko pulled off a remarkable 2-1 win over world No 8, Doo Hoi Kem. Bilenko won the first two games 11-8, 11-8. The Ukranian trailed in the third game but fought back to make it 10-10 but hit the chop long on the golden point.
Marcos Freitas extended the Smashers’ lead to 11-7, by beating Jubin Kumar 3-0 in the sixth match of the tie. However, Doo Hoi Kem came back and pulled the Yoddhas back into contention, with a 3-0 win over Madhurika Patkar.
The penultimate match of the tie between Aruna Quadri and Marcos Freitas turned out to be an extremely close one as Quadri bagged the first game, before Freitas rallied back and won the next to level things at 1-1.
In the third game, both players went neck-to-neck but Quadri came up with a thunderous forehand to clinch the match on a golden point to level the tie at 12-12.
The tie went down to the last match between Kim Song I and Polina Mikhailova to decide the winner. Kim took the opening Game at 11-4 before the Russian staged a brilliant comeback and hit some astonishing backhand winners to bag the second.
The deciding game of the tie was evenly poised at 9-9, but Mikhailova missed two easy forehand smashes and the Smashers won the tie 14-13.
According to a media release, Kulkarni succumbed to COVID-19 and was earlier admitted for treatment to the Kaushalya Hospital.
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