DHFL Maharashtra United led Oilmax Stag Yoddas 8-4 on points at the end of four matches on Day Three of Ultimate Table Tennis at Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai on Saturday. Harmeet Desai pulled off a stunning 3-0 (11-6, 11-10, 11-9) win over World No. 19 Panagiotis Gionis in the men’s singles.
Desai, ranked 79 in the world, hit form early to take the opening game with ease. The second game saw Gionis, strong in defense, hustle the Indian for every point before the local star pulled through on the final point. The third game ran equally close, but the 24-year-old Desai held his nerves for a sensational win to hand his team three full points.
World No. 22 Liu Jia extended the lead to 5-1 for DHFL Maharashtra United with a 2-1 (11-6, 5-11, 11-7) win over Oilmax Stag Yoddhas’ Manika Batra in the women’s singles (Indian v Foreign).
Delhi’s Manika, ranked 104, bounced back to win the second game in style to win a point for her team before the experienced Austrian took control of the final game.
Oilmax Stag Yoddhas came back strongly in mixed doubles (Foreign/Indian pair) as Aruna Quadri (Nigeria)/ Manika Batra thumped DHFL Maharashtra United’s Joao Monteiro (Portugal)/ Pooja Sahasrabudhe 3-0 (11-1, 11-4, 11-7) to cut their points deficit to 4-5.
Highly-rated Gionis (Oilmax Stag Yoddhas) lost for a second time in the night’s proceedings, with Portuguese world No. 48 Joao Monteiro emerging 3-0 (11-10, 11-3, 11-4) winner in the men’s singles (foreign player category) to hand DHFL Maharashtra United an 8-4 lead on points going into the game 5.
On Sunday, Dabang Smashers T.T.C. will meet Falcons TTC in what is the second outing for both teams.
Oilmax Stag Yoddhas 4-8 DHFL Maharashtra United
MS – Panagiotis Gionis vs Harmeet Desai (0-3) (6-11, 10-11, 9-11)
WS – Manika Batra vs Liu Jia (1-2) (6-11, 11-5, 7-11)
MD – Aruna Quadri/ Manika Batra vs Joao Monteir/ Pooja Sahasrabudhe (0-3) (11-1, 11-4, 11-7)
MS - Panagiotis Gionis vs Joao Monteiro (0-3) (10-11, 3-11, 4-11)