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.
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.
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