Sharath Kamal enters men’s and mixed doubles quarters at Hungarian Open

Achanta Sharath Kamal reached the men's and mixed-doubles quarterfinals alongside partner Sathiyan. G at the Hungarian Open in Budapest on Thursday.

Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra beat Adam Szudi and Szandra Pergel 11-8, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7 to reach the quarterfinals.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Indian table tennis great Achanta Sharath Kamal on Thursday entered the quarterfinals of both men’s doubles and mixed doubles at the ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open here.

The former Commonwealth Games gold medallist showed tremendous grit and resolve as he partnered Manika Batra to a marathon 11-8, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7 victory over home hope Adam Szudi and Szandra Pergel.

Later, Sharath Kamal paired up with Sathiyan Gnanasekaran to register yet another hard-fought 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-9 win against Japan’s rising stars, Shunsuke Togami and Yukiya Uda in men’s doubles.

Sharath Kamal and Batra showed glimpses of the fighting spirit and resilience that took them to a bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Games.

Buoyed by the home support, the Hungarian pair took a two-game lead but that could not deter the Indians, who stormed their way back to win the next two games.

The Indian pair will face Japan’s Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito in their quest for a semifinal berth.

With Ito being at a career-high world ranking of No. 3 and Mizutani being No. 15, the Indians cannot afford to make any mistake against the much-fancied pair.

In men’s doubles, Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan have a relatively easier path as they take on Hungary’s World No. 132 Szudi and World No. 142 Nandor Ecseki next.

In other results, Harmeet Desai and Manav Vikash Thakkar went down fighting 11-13, 8-11, 13-11, 11-6, 2-11 to Hong Kong’s Hang Siu Lam and Nam Pak NG.

Sathiyan sets up last-16 clash with Harimoto

Sathiyan advanced to the last 16 of the Hungarian Open after beating Iran's Noshad Alamiyan 11-6, 11-6, 11-9,  11-2 in his first main draw match in Budapest on Thursday.

India's sole representation in the men's singles, the Chennai-born paddler will meet world No. 5 Tomokazu Harimoto of Japan next. World No. 30 Sathiyan has fond memories of playing against the Japanese prodigy, who lost in straight games to the Indian in the Asian Championships last year.

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