Sharath Kamal and G. Sathiyan came within four points of completing a memorable victory over China’s non-regular doubles pair of Ma Long and Yuan Licen before fading out in the second round of the
Asian WTTC Continental Stage table tennis tournament in Doha on Monday.
After gaining a first-round bye, Sharath and Sathiyan took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven match by converting the fifth set point in the fourth set.
The Commonwealth Games silver medallists kept pace with the Chinese till 7-7 in the fifth set to move closer to an unexpected victory. However, from this stage, it was Ma Long and Yuan Licen all the way.
They wrapped up the fifth set without dropping another point and raced away with the last two sets for a loss of just seven points. Eventually, the Chinese won 4-11, 10-12, 11-5, 13-15, 11-7, 11-2, 11-5.
India’s other pair of Harmeet Desai and Manush Shah moved into the quarterfinals by beating Iranians Amir Hossein Hodaei and Amin Ahmadian 4-1.
As expected, formidable Koreans Jihee Jeon and Yubin Shin defeated Sreeja Akula and Reeth Rishya 4-0 in women’s doubles.
In mixed doubles, Sathiyan and Manika Batra won but Commonwealth Games gold medallists Sharath and Sreeja lost.
The results (Second round, involving Indians):
Men Doubles: Ma Long-Yuan Licen (Chn) bt Sharath Kamal-G. Sathiyan 4-11, 10-12, 11-5, 13-15, 11-7, 11-2, 11-5; Harmeet Desai-Manush Shah bt Amir Hossein Hodaei-Amin Ahmadian (Iri) 11-9, 15-13, 11-4, 9-11, 11-6.
Women Doubles: Jihee Jeon-Yubin Shin (Kor) bt Sreeja Akula-Reeth Rishya 11-6, 11-8, 11-8, 11-2.
Mixed Doubles: G. Sathiyan-Manika Batra bt Hiroto Shinozuka-Miyuu Kihara (Jpn) 11-9, 12-10, 11-7, 5-11, 11-7; Ho Kwan Kit-Zhu Chengzhu (Hkg) bt Sharath Kamal-Sreeja Akula 11-6, 12-10, 11-7, 11-6.