Table Tennis Men's World Cup: Sathiyan digs deep to upset Gauzy in first match

The 17th seed G. Sathiyan of India, after defeating Simon Gauzy in the first group stage match, will face Jonathan Groth of Denmark in the second match.

G. Sathiyan defeated the Frenchman Simon Gauzy for the first time in four meetings.   -  Getty Images

India’s G. Sathiyan staged a stirring comeback to beat Simon Gauzy 11-13, 9-11, 11-8, 14-12, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8 in a group stage match of the 2019 ITTF World Cup in Chengdu, China.

Sathiyan, appearing in his maiden World Cup, had lost to the 12th seed Gauzy in three previous meetings.

AS IT HAPPENED! SATHIYAN UPSETS GAUZY

World no. 22 Gauzy got off to a shaky start, trailing 6-10 in game one, but he came back strongly to save five points to win it 13-11. Despite a mid-game wobble, where he allowed Sathiyan to draw level at 7-7 after leading 5-1, Gauzy bagged the second game too.

Sathiyan, however, staged a comeback to win the third game, playing some ripping down the line backhand winners. He was made to work hard for the fourth game, saving four game points before winning it 14-12.

The players traded the next two games, before Sathiyan won the decider 11-8.

Speaking to ITTF after his maiden World Cup victory, Sathiyan said: "I am just out of words, this is a fantastic win for me. This is the first time I am beating Gauzy after losing two very close match. I was match point up in the world team championships and I lost. This was getting into my head, not again."

Sathiyan thanked his coach for the constant motivation and the crowd support that lifted his spirits after he had dropped the first game. "I was a little upset that I could not capitalise on it (the lead). Gauzy is that kind of a player, you can never take it easy with him. He is always coming back at you, but I was ready for it this time and really happy that I was successful," concluded Sathiyan.