Indian table tennis legend Achanta Sharath Kamal on Thursday entered the quarter-finals of both men’s doubles and mixed doubles at the ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open in Budapest.
The former Commonwealth Games gold medallist showed tremendous grit and resolve as he partnered Manika Batra to a marathon 11-8, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7 victory over home hope Adam Szudi and Szandra Pergel.
Later, Sharath Kamal paired up with Gnanasekaran Sathiyan to register yet another hard-fought 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-9 win against Japan’s rising stars, Shunsuke Togami and Yukiya Uda in men’s doubles.
Sharath Kamal and Batra showed glimpses of the fighting spirit and resilience that took them to a bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Games.
Buoyed by the home support, the Hungarian pair took a two-game lead but that could not deter the Indians, who stormed their way back to win the next two games.
The Indian pair will face Japan’s Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito in their quest for a semi-final berth.
With Ito being at a career-high world ranking of No. 3 and Mizutani being No. 15, the Indians cannot afford to make any mistake against the much-fancied pair.
In men’s doubles, Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan have a relatively easier path as they take on Hungary’s World No. 132 Szudi and World No. 142 Nandor Ecseki next.
In other results, Harmeet Desai and Manav Vikash Thakkar went down fighting 11-13, 8-11, 13-11, 11-6, 2-11 to Hong Kong’s Hang Siu Lam and Nam Pak NG.