Qatar Open: Sathiyan in singles pre-quarterfinals

Beats Yuya Oshima of Japan in the first round.

G. Sathiyan defeated Yuya Oshima for the first time in his career.   -  G. Ramakrishna

India's G. Sathiyan, who entered the top 50 for the first time in January, continued his good form, by upsetting Yuya Oshima of Japan in seven tough games 6-11, 11-5, 2-11, 12-10, 10-12, 11-4, 11-8 in the men's singles first round of the Qatar Open table tennis championships on Thursday night.

Ranked 49 in the world, Sathiyan held his nerve in a closely fought match.

This is the first time Sathiyan has defeated the Japanese, ranked 27 in the world, having lost to him in the Asian championship in Pattaya in 2015. The duo had first met in 2014. "I had lost to him (Yuya) first in the Russia Open in 2014," Sathiyan recalled, talking to Sportstar.

'Fast-paced match'

Sathiyan revealed his strategy for the contest. "It was a fast-paced match. I found it difficult to manage the pace but found a way later on. Moreover, I varied the pace during rallies and tried a variety of serves, which did unsettle him," he said.

Sathiyan will take on teen sensation, the 14-year-old Harimoto Tomokazu of Japan, ranked 12, in the round of 16 scheduled to take place at around 8.30 p.m. on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Indian doubles combination of Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan bowed out to Fang Bo and Lin Gaoyuan of China 10-12, 12-10, 11-1, 12-10 in the men's quarterfinals of the Qatar Open held late on Thursday.