Pune: World No. 159 Archana Kamath shocked Suthasini Sawettabut in an exciting contest as Puneri Paltan Table Tennis beat Goa Challengers 8-7 to register their first victory in the IndianOil Ultimate Table Tennis Season 4 at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge-Balewadi in Pune on Monday.
The Karnataka-based paddler took an early lead as she played accurate forehands to shock World No. 39 Suthasini. Archana did not lose momentum and took the first game by 11-6 before bringing her A game to the table and winning the second game by 11-8 and the tie for Puneri Paltan Table Tennis. She lost the third game 6-11 but secured victory for her franchise.
The franchise-based league, promoted by Niraj Bajaj and Vita Dani under the auspices of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), has been a game-changer for Indian table tennis since its inception in 2017.
Goa Challengers' Harmeet faced Manush in the first match (Men's Singles) of the tie and earned three valuable team points for his franchise.
Both Gujarat-based paddlers went toe to toe from the beginning of the tie and played with attacking intent to gather points. The first game went in the favour of Harmeet 11-10 through a golden point.
The World No. 65 kept his nerve in the second game despite falling behind Manush early on. Harmeet reduced the three-point deficit with ease before winning the game by 11-9. The third game was also decided through a golden point where the Goa Challengers' paddler used his swift moments to good effect and registered a win to put his franchise in a comfortable position.
In the second match (Women's Singles) of the tie, Reeth Tennison defeated Hana Matelova by 2-1 to extend Goa Challengers' lead to 5-1.
The Czech paddler completely dominated the first game as she beat Reeth by 11-3 before the Indian player made a comeback in the tie and took the second game through golden point. The third game saw Reeth at her imperious best as she registered an 11-3 win to put her franchise in a comfortable position in the tie.
Manush and Hana beat Harmeet and Suthasini Sawettabut in the third match (Mixed Doubles) of the tie by 3-0 to bring Puneri Paltan Table Tennis back into the contest and reduce the deficit to 5-4.
The pair of Manush and Hana looked in complete control of the match as they took the first game through a golden point before winning the second by 11-3. The third game also went in the favour of Manush and Hana by 11-7 as they brought their franchise back into the tie.
World No. 23 Omar Assar went into the fourth match (Men's Singles) of the tie against Alvaro Robles with positive intent. He won it by 2-1 to bring the tie to 6-6 and gave Puneri Paltan Table Tennis a shot at victory.
The Egyptian paddler lost the first game through a golden point. However, he came back with a bang as he played precise shots and beat Robles in long rallies to take the second game by 11-5 before winning the third by 11-9.
All the Season 4 ties start at 7.30 PM with broadcast on Sports 18 and streamed on JioCinema. The tickets will be available on BookMyShow.
Puneri Paltan TT 8-7 Goa Challengers
Manush Shah 0-3 Harmeet Desai (10-11, 9-11, 10-11)
Hana Matelova 1-2 Reeth Tennison (11-3, 10-11, 3-11)
Manush/Hana 3-0 Harmeet/Suthasini (11-10, 11-3, 11-7)
Omar Assar 2-1 Alvaro Robles (10-11, 11-5, 11-9)
Archana Kamath 2-1 Suthasini Sawettabut (11-6, 11-8, 6-11)