India’s highest-ranked men’s player G Sathiyan and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manika Batra steered Dabang Smashers to an emphatic win over Warriors in the Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) on Saturday.
Smashers picked up 14 points while conceding only seven in their 6-1 wi. The victory helped them top the standings.
Manika began the charge against Sharath Kamal’s Warriors, scoring a tense 2-1 victory in the opening game. She beat world No 18 Sofia Polcanova, who is ranked 62 spots higher than her, claiming two out of the three games on “golden point”.
Manika mixed her serves cleverly and used her backhand effectively to score a 11-10, 5-11, 11-10 victory.
The other crowd favourite, Sharath Kamal, began confidently, winning the first game 11-10, before Japan’s Yoshida Masaki (world No. 27) recovered in the next to score a facile 11-5 win.
The Indian star battled hard in the decider but a handful of unforced errors saw him lose 8-11.
Sathiyan, teaming up with Japanese Sakura Mori, rode on the winning momentum to give the Smashers a clean 3-0 victory in the mixed doubles.
In the next singles, Sathiyan shocked world No 15 Chin-Yuan Chuang of Chinese Taipei 2-1 (11-7, 11-6, 7-11).
The highest ranked Indian (world No 44) upstaged his rival with stunning returns to maintain his unbeaten record in the tournament since season 1.
In between, Warriors were spurred by Polcanova, who put behind her defeat to Manika, with a 3-0 victory over Mori in her second singles match.
The 17-year-old Adriana Diaz, the youngest player in the tournament from Puerto Rico, completed the Smashers’ dominance with an emphatic 3-0 win over Pooja Sahasrabuddhe.
DABANG SMASHERS BEAT WARRIORS 14-7
Women’s singles: Manika Batra bt Sofia Polcanova (Aut) 2-1 (11-10, 5-11, 11-10)
Men’s singles: Yoshida Masaki (Jpn) bt A Sharath Kamal 2-1 (7-11, 11-8, 11-8)
Mixed doubles: G Sathiyan/Sakura Mori (Jpn) bt A Sharath Kamal/Hana Matelova (Cze) 3-0 (11-2, 11-5, 11-10)
Men’s singles: Cedric Nuytinck (Bel) bt Aruna Quadri (Ngr) 2-1 (11-4, 11-9, 2-11)
Women’s singles: Sakura Mori lost to Sofia Polcanova 0-3 (4-11, 4-11, 8-11)
Men’s singles: G Sathiyan bt Chin-Yuan Chuang (Tpe) 2-1 (11-7, 11-6, 7-11)
Women’s singles: Adriana Diaz (Pur) bt Pooja Sahasrabudhe 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 11-7)