India’s top-ranked paddler G Sathiyan’s impressive run at the ITTF Challenge Plus Oman Open came to end with a bronze medal as he could not overcome Mattias Flack of Sweden in the men singles semi-finals of Sunday.
The fourth-seeded Indian lost 8-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 10-12.
The top-seeded Swede and the Indian had the measure of each other with the two winning alternate games to take the issue to the decider. But in the decider, the Swede had the slight advantage until deuce. But once he broke Sathiyan to go up, it was all over for the Indian as his opponent wrapped it up with the winner.
The only Indian to survive so far, Sathiyan had ended Frenchman Emmanuel Lebesson in the quarterfinals 4-1 (11-9, 11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 12-10) after having dominated the first three games. But the seventh seeded Frenchman showed intentions of coming back when the Indian arrested any such possibility winning the fifth game.
Earlier, in the round of 16, Sathiyan beat compatriot Anthony Amalraj 4-1. Another Indian to go down in the round of 16 was Achanta Sharath Kamal, who lost 1-4 to Croat Pucar Tamislov.
It was disappointing for India in women singles as both Madhurika Patkar and Riti Shankar failed to go past the first round of the main draw.
In men’s doubles, Sathiyan and Sharath lost their quarterfinals to the Russian pair of Denis Ivonin and Vladimir Sidorenko 2-3 and so did Archana and Sathiyan in mixed doubles first round. However, the other pair of Madhurika Patkar and Harmeet Desai bowed out in the quarters.
Silver for Archana
Meanwhile, Archana’s excellent run in the Under-21 category at the Oman Open came to an end when she lost the singles final in straight games of 7-11, 8-11, 6-11 to top-seeded Japanese Satsuki Odo on Saturday evening.
The Indian won silver in her first major outing since winning the national women singles crown at Cuttack this January.
The Japanese used her potent backhand to greater effect to beat Archana who has had a wonderful outing at Muscat. But the win was not easy for the Japanese who admitted that Archana was very good, using both her backhand and forehand.
“It was a very difficult match,” said the top-seed.
Archana had her chances in the first two games but a couple of mistakes did her in.
“She (Satsuki) was really good, especially on her backhand. But I think I had a good outing here at Muscat,” said the reigning national champion who also impressed with a fourth-placed finish at the Youth Olympics last year.
In fact, on her way to the finals, the Indian had accounted for No. 3 seed Maria Tailakova of Russia in a tough five-game semi-finals, after trailing 0-2. The Indian bounced back nicely to win 6-11, 5-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-9. In the quarters she had beaten Singapore’s Rui Xuan Goi 11-7, 11-5, 11-8 after downing Russian Valeria Shcherbatykh in straight games.
Elsewhere, Manav Thakkar bowed out in the semifinals when he went down to Artur Abusev of Russia 4-11, 6-11, 5-1. Earlier, he had beaten compatriot Jeet Chandra 3-1 in the quarterfinals.