Sathiyan, Harmeet win men’s doubles title at World Table Tennis Contender

G. Sathiyan and Harmeet Desai beat Emmanuel Lebesson and Alexandra Cassin in the final to clinch the men’s double title in Tunis.

G. Sathiyan (left) and Harmeet Desai with the Trophy after winning the men's doubles title in the World Table Tennis Contender Tunis on Saturday.   -  Special Arrangement

The Indian pair of G. Sathiyan and Harmeet Desai clinched the men’s doubles title at the World Table Tennis Contender Tunis in Tunis, Tunisia, on Saturday, with an 11-9, 4-11, 11-9, 11-6 victory over Emmanuel Lebesson and Alexandra Cassin of France in the final.

After losing the first game, the French pair fought back taking a 5-1 and 9-3 lead to pocket the second game. The third game was close with leads changing hands between the two pairs.

However, it was the Sathiyan-Harmeet duo that won it at 11-9. Running up a 4-1 lead in the fourth, the Indians never looked back after taking a 6-5 lead.

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"I have reached the final playing with Sharath anna, [Soumyajit] Ghosh and Sanil [Shetty], but I have never won a men's doubles crown. This is the first time I am playing with Harmeet.  I am extremely happy. The key factor for our win was the speed," Sathiyan told Sportstar

Harmeet, who had won the doubles title with Ghosh at the 2015 Commonwealth Championship, was equally ecstatic. "Winning with Sathiyan is really special. Since Sathiyan had earlier seen [Emmanuel] Lebesson in the mixed doubles semifinals, we devised certain strategies and it worked well for us," he said.

"We are also trying different [men's doubles] combinations to prepare for the 2022 Commonwealth Games."

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