Sathiyan registers second win on the trot for Sokolaw Jaroslaw in Polish Superliga

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran earned a hard-fought 3-2 victory against Russian Maxim Chaplygin to continue his winning run in the Polish Superliga.

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (second from right) poses with his Sokolow S.A. Jaroslaw teammates ahead of his Polish Superliga debut.   -  POLISH SUPERLIGA

Ace Indian paddler Sathiyan Gnanasekaran made it two wins in two in the Polish Superliga when his team Sokolaw Jaroslaw thrashed Olimpia-Unia 3-0 in round nine on Sunday.

World No. 32 Sathiyan earned a hard-fought 3-2 victory against Russian Maxim Chaplygin in the first singles match of the tie. World No. 337 Chaplygin put Sathiyan under pressure straightaway by winning the first two games 11-9 and 11-6, respectively.

The Chennai-born paddler clawed his way back into the contest as he bagged the third game 11-8 to halve the parity. He then swung the momentum in his favour clinching game four 11-8 to force the decider.

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Sathiyan, eventually, held his nerve as he closed out the game 11-9 and registered a remarkable come-from-behind victory.

“It’s my first win against a defensive player after a long time and this victory will give me a lot of confidence,” Sathiyan told Sportstar.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist said it was a difficult match to win. “He was attacking really well and finished the first game very quickly. After the third game, I started to read [the game] better and play more aggressively. I started taking the initiative and attacking the right areas, which worked well for me. In the decider, I felt I was rushing through the points and needed to stay composed. We exchanged a few long rallies and, in the end,, I was able to seal the win,” he added. 

Sathiyan’s teammate Lei Kou doubled the advantage for Jaroslaw by securing a 11-5,11-6,11-6 win against Poland’s Marco Golla.

Pole Chmiel Pawel sealed the deal 3-0 for Jaroslaw with a 11-6, 11-7, 3-11, 11-7 win against Jan Zandecki.

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Twenty-seven year old Sathiyan also revealed that playing against choppers has posed problems for him in the past because of lack of practice against such players. 

“Playing against a defensive player requires a very different style. Once you play against choppers, you realise everything from your footwork to reading the spin and their game changes. The only way to tackle a spin-heavy player is to practice against them. Or else, it becomes difficult to beat choppers.” Sathiyan said.

He added: “In India, Sharath [Kamal] is one player who has mastered the technique because he played in Europe for a long time. As I play more matches in Europe, I will also meet more choppers and use the opportunity to get better.”

Sathiyan and Co. next play on Friday, October 23.