A serve is considered the most vital aspect in an extremely technical and complex game, even at the highest level. An error while serving can cost a player, dear.
The same was on display on Friday night during Ultimate Table Tennis season four at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex. Had it not been for Captain G. Sathiyan’s service error in the opening game of mixed doubles rubber, Dabang Delhi T.T.C. would have ended up on the winning side versus Puneri Paltan TT, despite Manush Shah pulling off a heist against Jon Persson.
In the end, it was Paltan - with a large group of school kids cheering for the home franchise - sneaked through to an 8-7 win.
Sathiyan and Barbora Balazova - both of whom had been involved in highly entertaining singles ties - had been tied at 10-all against Manush and Hana Matelova. Sathiyan then stiffened up and netted his serve on the golden point - a UTT unique feature with deuce having been done away with a mini tie-break at 10-all.
The Dabang pair made a strong comeback and won the next two games. But in the eventual outcome, that missed serve may have cost Delhi dear.
For Puneri Paltan, despite favourite Omar Assar conceding a game against Sathiyan and Matelova losing to Balazova in the singles, the Indian duo of Manush and Archana Kamath tilted the tie in its favour.
While Manush, the bespectacled southpaw, accounted for Sweden’s Jon Persson to level the tie at six games apiece, Archana then outpaced Sreeja Akula in the deciding game.
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