India’s rising star Manav Thakkar produced a fine effort to pull U Mumba from the brink and hand his side a thrilling 9-6 victory over RP-SG Mavericks Kolkata in the Ultimate Table Tennis third season in New Delhi on Thursday.
Down 2-4 after the first two matches – the women’s singles and men’s singles – Manav and world no.11 Doo Hoi Kem clinched three points against RP-SG Mavericks Kolkata to set up U Mumba’s second win in the tournament.
Even in the mixed doubles tie, U Mumba were trailing 0-7 in the first set but a series of attacking shots from Manav got them going, turning the tide and giving them a golden point set.
In the next two sets, they were right on top, stunning Sanil Shetty and Matilda Ekholm 11-6 11-7.
Manav was in his elements in the crucial reverse men’s singles encounter, getting the better of Sanil Shetty 2-1.
U Mumba needed just one point going into the final match, but Sutirtha Mukherjee did one better, surprising Manika Batra 2-1 to give her side a massive win.
Earlier, RP-SG began on a positive note with Sweden’s Matilda shocking Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem 2-1.
Matilda dominated the first set, easily winning it 11-5. Hoi Kem played to her potential in the next for a dominant 11-3 win.
The two matched each other shot for shot in the decider before Matilda outwitted Hoi Kem 11-8.
In the men’s singles encounter, German paddler Benedikt Duda consolidated RP-SG’s score, pocketing a crucial golden point win over Kirill Gerassimenko in the first set.
In the second, however, he failed to make the best of a 7-3 advantage and ended up losing on golden point. Duda went on to win the final set 11-7 to make it 4-2 for RP-SG.
Then Manav came in the fray and looked in top of his game in both the mixed doubles and return men’s singles to clinch the tie for U Mumba.
U Mumba TT bt RP-SG Mavericks Kolkata 9-6
Women’s Singles: Doo Hoi Kem lost to Matilda Ekholm 1-2 (5-11, 11-3, 8-11)
Men’s Singles: Kirill Gerassimenko lost to Benedikt Duda 1-2 (10-11, 11-10, 7-11)
Mixed Doubles: Manav Thakkar/ Doo Hoi Kem bt Sanil Shetty/ Matilda Ekholm 3-0 (11-10, 11-6, 11-7)
Men’s Singles: Manav Thakkar bt Sanil Shetty 2-1 (11-8, 11-9, 10-11)
Women’s Singles: Sutirtha Mukherjee bt Manika Batra 2-1 (11-7, 11-7, 1-11)