Marcos Freitas won two matches and local lad G Sathiyan recorded an impressive win to help Dabang Smashers T.T.C. edge out Falcons TTC 14-13 in an exciting tie on Day 4 of the Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) championship at a packed Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai on Sunday.
Portugal's world No. 14 Marcos Freitas first swept aside Sanil Shetty of Falcons TTC 3-0 to hand Dabang Smashers T.T.C. three full points in the men’s singles (foreign vs Indian), the opening match.
Freitas broke away at 5-5 to take the opening game 11-5 against the Indian. The Portuguese jumped to a 4-1 lead early in the second game before wrapping it up at 11-2 and signed off with an 11-3 win in the third game.
Chinese world No. 13 Wu Yang levelled points (3-3) for Falcons TTC with a 3-0 win over Dabang Smashers T.T.C,’s Mousumi Paul. Yang beat back a late surge by the Indian to win the opening game at 11-9. The Chinese ace cruised to an 11-4 win in the second game and sealed the third game at 11-7.
Falcons TTC’s mixed doubles (Indian/foreign) pair of Sanil Shetty/ Lee Ho Ching routed G Sathiyan/ Tetyana Bilenko of Dabang Smashers T.T.C. 3-0 to hand their side a 6-3 lead. The Falcons TTC’s pair staged a remarkable rally late to clinch the opening set 11-8 and then went on cruise mode to take the next two at an identical 11-6.
However, in-form Freitas led from the front and thumped Swedish world No. 41 Par Gerell of Falcons TTC 3-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-8) in the men’s singles (foreign player category) to help Dabang Smashers T.T.C. level at 6-all.
Lee Ho Ching rallied to beat Ukrainian Tetyana Bilenko of Dabang Smashers T.T.C. 2-1 (8-11, 11-9, 11-5) in the women’s singles (foreign player category) to put Falcons TTC ahead 8-7 on points. Local lad Sathiyan pulled off a surprise 2-1 victory over higher-ranked Gerell (Falcons TTC) in the men’s singles (Indian v Foreign) to help Dabang Smashers T.T.C. draw level on points at 9-all.
Sathiyan jumped to an 8-0 lead in the opening game that he won 11-7. Gerell won the next at 11-6 and then the Chennai boy took the third at 11-6 much to the joy of a packed Sunday crowd. North Korean world No 19 Kim Song I brushed aside Sutirtha Mukherjee (Falcons TTC) 3-0 (11-3, 11-4, 11-3) in the women’s singles (foreign v Indian) to help Dabang Smashers T.T.C. edge ahead 12-9.
As Briton Liam Pitchford was indisposed (dehydration), young Arjun Ghosh came out to represent Falcons TTC against the world No. 28 Kou Lei of Dabang Smashers T.T.C. in the men’s singles. Ghosh stunned his opponent in the opening game 11-4 before Lei took control by winning the next two at 11-10 and 11-3 to help Dabang Smashers T.T.C. seal the deal and extend their lead to 14-10 going into the day’s last game.
In the women’s singles (foreign player category), Falcons TTC’s Wu Yang beat Kim Song I (Dabang Smashers T.T.C.) 3-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-10) to reduce Falcons TTC’s deficit to just one point (13-14).
On Monday, Oilmax Stag Yoddhas will play Shazé Challengers in what is the second outing for both.