UTT: Adriana puts Smashers in final

United’s Madhurika Patkar stumbles in the final match.

Young Adriana Diaz showed nerves of steel to help Dabang Smashers to a semifinal win against Maharashtra United.

Young Adriana Diaz showed nerves of steel to help Dabang Smashers TTC return from throes of defeat and win the first semifinal against Maharashtra United 11-10 in the CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis here on Friday.

The 17-year-old trailed 1-7 in the final game against Madhurika Patkar before she made a spectacular turnaround to win it 11-9. She then won the next two games to douse the hopes of United, which had led 10-8 before the final match and needed to win just a game to secure a final berth.

Elizabeta Samara had weathered a troublesome ankle to get the better of Manika Batra 2-1 in the first match to help United gain an early lead. A. Amalraj then stunned World No. 27 Yoshida Masaki to give United a 4-2 lead.

The 32-year-old, who made his intentions clear by taking an 8-1 lead in the first game, dominated his opponent to win 11-4, 11-8, 7-11.

Smashers turned it around with its unbeaten pair of G. Sathiyan and Sakura Mori winning the mixed doubles against Amalraj and Lily Zhang 2-1. World No. 52 Cedric Nuytinck fetched another success for Smashers by winning the fourth match (men’s singles) against United captain Joao Monteiro before Mori repeated the scoreline of 2-1 against Lily to give Smashers a 8-7 lead after the fifth match.

The sixth match saw World No. 18 Kristian Karlsson blank Sathiyan 3-0 to give United a sizeable 10-8 lead before Adriana had her own plans in the final match.

The result: Dabang Smashers bt Maharashtra United 11-10 (Manika Batra lost to Elizabeta Samara 11-8, 9-11, 11-10, Yoshida Masaki lost to A. Amalraj 11-4, 11-8, 7-11; G. Sathiyan & Sakura Mori bt Amalraj & Lily Zhang 7-11, 11-5, 11-8; Cedric Nuytinck bt Joao Monteiro 7-11, 11-8, 11-4; Mori bt Lily 7-11, 11-8, 11-6; G. Sathiyan lost to Kristian Karlsson 11-8, 11-5, 11-8; Adriana Diaz bt Madhurika Patkar 11-5, 11-6, 11-9).

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