Dabang Delhi TTC’s G Sathiyan played out of his skin to seal a victory against U Mumba in the third season of Ultimate Table Tennis in New Delhi on Monday.
World No 24 and the highest ranked men’s player in the tournament, Sathiyan first paired up with Romania’s Bernadette Szocs to clinch two points in the mixed doubles before overcoming a valiant Manav Thakkar in the reverse men’s singles fixture 3-0.
Sathiyan needed to win two golden points to get the better of the young Manav in the first two sets that were fought tooth and nail. The last set came much easier, sealing the tie for Sathiyan’s side in the fourth clash as they had already taken 3 points in their earlier matches, with their Swedish import Jon Persson cornering 2 points and Szocs 1. In the fifth and final game, U Mumba’s Sutirtha Mukherjee beat Krittwika Sinha Roy 2-1 to reduce the overall deficit.
The Delhi-Mumbai encounter, that saw a plethora of golden points, began with the two teams trading the first wins. World No 12 Doo Hoi Kem handed the Mumbai team the initial advantage, defeating Szocs in a thrilling women’s singles encounter.
But Hong Kong’s Doo had to battle for every point against Szocs (world No 19) in a battle of equals. The first two games were locked 10-10, and Doo’s experience came to her rescue as she pounced on the golden points.
Szocs, however, reduced the deficit in the third game, winning it 11-8.
Dabang’s march to victory began in the next game, with Jon Persson also relying on two golden points to overcome young Kirill Gerassimenko from Kazakhastan. He lost the last game to make it 3-3 overall.
The mixed doubles began on an ominous note for Mumba, with Sathiyan-Bernadette racing away to a 11-2 win in the first set. Manav-Hoi Kem, however, discovered their mojo midway through the next set, clambering from 4-7 to make it 7-all. They conceded only one more point after that to make it 1-1.
Sathiyan-Bernadette sprinted away to 7-4 once again, only to find Manav-Hoi Kem clawing back to 7-7. But this time the Delhi duo handled the pressure better to win it 11-8, giving them a slight 5-4 advantage.
The reverse men’s singles saw two of India’s finest players, one an established star and the other a rising one, dish out a stunning spectacle. Sathiyan needed a golden point in the first set and then saved two in the second to score a memorable win.
Dabang Delhi TTC bt U Mumba TT 9-6
Women’s Singles - Bernadette Szocs lost to Doo Hoi Kem 1-2 (10-11, 10-11, 11-8)
Men’s Singles - Jon Persson bt Kirill Gerassimenko 2-1 (11-10, 11-10, 7-11)
Mixed Doubles - Sathiyan G. & Bernadette Szocs bt Manav Thakkar & Doo Hoi Kem 2-1 (11-2, 8-11, 11-8)
Men’s Doubles - Sathiyan G. bt Manav Thakkar 3-0 (11-10, 11-10, 11-7)
Women’s Singles - Krittwika Sinha Roy lost to Sutirtha Mukherjee 1-2 (4-11, 10-11, 11-8)