Soumyajit, Sathiyan advance in German Open

India’s Soumyajit Ghosh and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran beat the odds to top their respective groups in the ITTF World Tour Platinum German Open.

A file photo of G. Sathiyan (left) and Soumyajit Ghosh.   -  Special Arrangement

India’s Soumyajit Ghosh and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran beat the odds to top their respective groups in the ITTF World Tour Platinum German Open here on Thursday.

Ranked 87 in the world, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran had to fight hard for a place in the next round. He got the better of Hong Kong’s Man Ho Kwan  9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 11-3, 8-11, 11-3 first but then had to dig deep to prevail against Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu. He eventually won 13-11, 8-11, 11-8, 3-11, 3-11, 11-8, 14-12.

Later in the evening, Sathiyan did one better, upsetting world junior champion Jang Woojin 4-0. He is now just one step away from making it to the main round of this elite tournament.

Soumyajit, ranked 93, romped past Chile’s Alfonso Olave 4-1 and Quentin Robinot 4-0  to enter the main draw in style.

He began his campaign on a losing note against, going down to Olave 5-11 in the opening game. But he came back strongly to win the next four (11-5, 13-11, 11-5, 11-7) for an impressive victory.

He was much more assured against 64-ranked Robinot, winning 11-5, 13-11, 11-5, 11-7.

India’s other top players, Sharath Kamal Achanta and Harmeet Desai, however, bowed out of the tournament after losing their respective second games.