Indian paddler Manav Thakkar, on Sunday, became the first Indian since 2017 to win an U-21 men’s singles title when he lifted the crown at the ITTF Challenge Plus Benemax-Virgo North American Open in Markham, Canada.
Manav cruised to a comfortable 11-3, 11-5, 11-6 win over Argentina’s Martin Bentancor in the final.
It was India’s first U-21 men’s singles title since the ITTF Challenge Series became an entity in January 2017, as opposed to being an integral part of the ITTF World Tour.
Manav has now joined Harmeet Desai, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Soumyajit Ghosh in the list of Indians to win ITTF World Tour U-21 men’s singles titles. In 2012, Harmeet and Sathiyan won the title in Brazil and Egypt respectively, while Soumyajit clinched title in Chile in 2011.
Nineteen-year-old Manav, who was part of the Indian men’s team which won the bronze medal in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, dominated the proceedings in the one-sided final. Seeded second, the Indian youngster dominated from the get-go and offered Bentancor little to no room to score points.
Earlier, Manav had defeated Argentina’s Horacio Cifuentes 11-5, 11-9, 11-5 and Lorenzo Santiago 11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 11-6 in the quarterfinal and semifinal respectively.