Top Indian paddler G. Sathiyan bagged a fourth consecutive victory for his club Sokolaw S. A. Jaroslaw on Sunday to end his Polish Superliga stint in 2020 undefeated.
Sathiyan, who is expected to return to the league in January, registered a straight-games triumph over Uczelnia Panstwowa’s Konstantinos Angelaki in less than half an hour.
The Chennai-born paddler, like the previous match, played the third and deciding singles of the contest. He bagged the first game 11-8 before winning a challenging second. World No.32 Sathiyan was trailing 3-7 against World No. 761 Angelaki before taking a time-out at 8-9. He gathered himself well from there on as he saved two game points, including a spectacular block winner, to claim game two 12-10 and take a 2-0 lead.
ALSO READ | SAI’s national camp to begin on October 28
The last game was a straightforward one as Sathiyan coasted to 11-3 win and sealed a 3-0 win for Jaroslaw on the night.
Sathiyan was happy to have closed out the game without much trouble. Speaking to Sportstar after the encounter, the 27-year-old revealed he had played Angelaki three years ago in a match that ended 4-3 in the Indian’s favour.
“The second set was crucial today. I was trailing by a big margin but I managed to get the better of him. He then ran out of steam, so the third game was relatively easier for me,” Sathiyan said.
Sathiyan had earned a hard-fought victory against Russian chopper Maxim Chaplygin in his second match, a match he struggled in because of lack of practice against defensive players. His opponent on Sunday was another chopper but this time, he was better prepared.
“I practised with a couple of defensive players last week and it really helped me today. I am definitely getting better and really happy to have ended this trip with a win.”
Earlier in the day, World No. 52 Lei Kou got Jaroslaw off to a winning start by handing his opponent Paweł Kozieł a 3-0 (11-7, 11-8, 11-4) defeat.
World No. 312 Patryk Zatowka made it 2-0 by sailing to a comfortable 3-0 (11-8, 11-6, 11-9) victory against Ukranian Ihor Zavadskyi.
With this victory over its newly-promoted opponent, Jaroslaw climbed to fourth in the points table and secured promotion to the LOTTO championship group of the super league.
Trip to Japan still possible
Only a few weeks back, Sathiyan was uncertain about his travel plans to Japan and Poland. The complexity of international travel coupled with visa issues had narrowed down the possibility.
However, the 2018 Asian Games bronze medallist now believes that his chances of being able to take part in the Japanese league have slightly increased after successful participation in the Polish Superliga.
“If I test negative [for COVID-19] tomorrow, I will fly back to India on Wednesday and adhere to the 14-day quarantine rule. I have brought my Japanese work visa papers with me so once I am done with the quarantine, I will apply for the visa. If everything works out, I may be able to depart by November 15th,” Sathiyan explained.
Should Sathiyan attain the required permission to fly to Japan, he is likely to spend a month there until Christmas. He will then return to Poland for the second half of the league and the playoff matches in January and February.