Archana Kamath, having missed out on India’s Asian Games squad last week, made a strong case by stunning World No. 38 Suthasini Sawettabutt of Thailand in the deciding rubber to set up Puneri Paltan TT’s maiden win in the Ultimate Table Tennis season 4.
Riding on Archana’s all-round, aggressive display, Puneri Paltan, the home team, surged to a 8-7 win against Goa Challengers after trailing 5-1 after the first two matches at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex.
With the teams locked at six games apiece, the second women’s singles rubber was to be the most important affair. While Archana was at her best, Suthasini - who along with Harmeet Desai had been whitewashed in the mixed doubles - continued her terrible run of the night.
The tie started with Harmeet registering his second consecutive singles whitewash. While G. Sathiyan had faced his wrath in Goa’s tournament-opener, it was the turn of Harmeet’s Gujarat junior Manush Shah on Tuesday.
However, Manush would be dejected, having failed to convert 9-6 lead in the second game and 10-7 in the third, with Harmeet upping the ante at crunch moments.
The match of the day, however, turned out to be the one between Omar Assar, the World No. 23 from Egypt, and Spain’s Alvaro Robles. Assar prevailed in an entertaining duel, albeit after conceding the first game to southpaw Robles to level the tie at six games apiece.
The match saw multiple long rallies with both the players moving away from the table. The point of the day was the 16-shot rally in the second game, with Assar finishing it off with a forehand winner, drawing the loudest applause of the night.
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