Ultimate Table Tennis 2018: Manika Batra, G Sathiyan shine as Dabang Smashers beat Falcons TTC to lift trophy

Kolkata: India's golden girl Manika Batra and G Sathiyan stamped their class, guiding Dabang Smashers to the CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis title with a 11-7 win over Falcons TTC in the final in Kolkata on Sunday.

 Ultimate Table Tennis 2018: Manika Batra, G Sathiyan shine as Dabang Smashers beat Falcons TTC to lift trophy

Dabang Smashers beat Falcons TTC to win Ultimate Table Tennis 2018. Image Credit: Agencies

Manika and Sathiyan's dominant performances helped the Smashers topple defending champions Falcons TTC and also pocket prize money worth Rs 1 crore.

Riding on a brilliant start that saw the Smashers jump to a solid 7-2 lead after just three matches, captain Sathiyan recorded a thumping 2-1 victory over Alvaro Robles to bring the contest to a premature end. Sathiyan won the first set handsomely and led 5-0 in the second. However, Spain's Robles pulled back to draw level and make it 1-1. World No 44 Sathiyan, however, had the last laugh, winning the crucial 11th game point to seal the victory for the Smashers.

Earlier, 23-year-old Manika led the charge, downing World No 30 Matilda Ekholm 3-0 (11-8, 11-10, 11-9). The 2018 Commonwealth Games double-gold medallist dominated her Swedish opponent, claiming points with a series of blistering smashes. Manika picked up the Indian player of the league award for her outstanding performance through the season, winning 5 matches and losing 2.

World No 27 Yoshida Masaki extended Smashers lead with a 2-1 victory over Sanil Shetty. Masaki exhibited great technique and control to claim the first two sets 11-8, 11-8, but Shetty went back for broke and claimed the last set to corner one vital point.

Sathiyan and Sakura Mori promptly paired up to pick 2 more game points, getting the better of Sanil Shetty and Bernadette Szocs in the mixed doubles clash. Falcons' captain and last year's MVP Liam Pitchford gave his team a glimmer of hope, beating Belgium's Cedric Nuytinck 2-1 in an exhilarating contest. He, however, yielded a vital point, losing the second set 5-11 which proved critical in the end.

Romania's Szocs, who has frequently been winning matches for Falcons, then overcame young Adriana Diaz to narrow the lead, but the 17-year-old Puerto Rican also pulled back one point in the third set to prepare the stage for Sathiyan to shine.

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Updated Date: Jul 01, 2018 23:03:15 IST

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