Sathiyan shocks world number 16 Freitas at Austrian Open

G. Sathiyan stunned higher-ranked Marcos Frietas 4-11, 11-9, 11-9 at the ITTF Austrian Open in Linz.

World No. 35 Sathiyan fought back after losing the first set 4-11 to take match by winning the next two sets 11-9, 11-9.   -  S. SIVA SARAVANAN

Star Indian paddler Gnanasekaran Sathiyan knocked out world number 16 Marcos Freitas after a gripping battle to move to the pre-quarterfinals of the ITTF Austrian Open in Linz.

Ranked 35 in the world and lone Indian in the main draw, Sathiyan had to play out of his skin to down Freitas 4-3 in the elite Platinum tournament.

The Indian lost the first game 4-11 but fought back in his usual aggressive way, winning the next games 11-9, 11-9.

But the Portuguese was not ready to give up, clawing his way back into the contest by clinching the next two games 11-8, 11-6.

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A valiant Sathiyan managed to level the match 3-3, battling to a 11-9 victory. With everything to play for in the decider, he showed great temperament to race to a 11-7 win for a sensational victory.

“It was a wonderful victory and I am very satisfied with the way I performed today. I just hope to continue my streak and go as deep as possible in the tournament,” Sathiyan said after the match.

He next plays China’s World No. 2 Xu Xin for a place in the quarterfinals.

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