Table Tennis Men's World Cup: Sathiyan cruises into knockouts, to face Timo Boll next

G. Sathiyan has advanced to the knockouts of the 2019 ITTF Men's World Cup after topping Group D and will face former world No. 1 Timo Boll next.

G. Sathiyan won both of his Group D matches, against Simon Gauzy and Jonathan Groth, to qualify for the next round. (File Photo)   -  GETTY IMAGES

Top Indian paddler G. Sathiyan stormed past Denmark's Jonathan Groth 11-3, 12-10, 7-11, 16-14, 8-11, 11-8 to advance to the knockout stage of the 2019 ITTF World Cup in Chengdu, China.

Fourteenth seed Groth, who lost his first match against Simon Gauzy earlier on Friday, needed a win to stay alive. However, the highest-ranked Indian carried his good form into the second match to deny his opponent.

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Sathiyan set the tone from the onset. He ran through the points and bagged the first game 11-3 in under 10 minutes.

Current world No. 24 Groth gained some rhythm in the second game with his inside out forehand drives and service returns. Sathiyan squandered two game points before eventually going 2-0 up at 12-10.

Groth swayed the momentum in his favour by clinching the third game. He forced errors from Sathiyan with a flurry of vicious forehands aimed at his body.

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Sathiyan, however, bounced back immediately in the next game, to take a 3-1 lead. Groth saved four game points before going down 14-16.

The Dane did manage to win the next game 11-8. But he was made to pay for his errors as Sathiyan claimed game six 11-8 to top Group D and progress to the next round.

Speaking to Sportstar after his second match, Sathiyan said: "I'm out of words. It's been an amazing day on court. I had never beaten Gauzy and Groth before. These are massive wins for me. More than reaching the knockouts, beating these two guys and then going into the pre-quarters at such a big stage is a fantastic feeling."

Sathiyan credited his coach, S. Raman, for pushing him till the very end and working out strategies that helped him play his best game. He put down his success to the attacking nature of his game.

Sathiyan will face fifth seed Timo Boll in the round of 16. Boll is a two-time men's World Cup champion and the former world no. 1 is appearing in the tournament for the 16th time.

“The name is enough. I am a huge fan of him (Boll) but pressure is on him to deliver. This is the first time I will be playing against him in an international tournament and I am looking forward to putting up a great show," he cocluded.