UTT Final: Chennai Lions lifts trophy, roar to a dominating 8-1 victory over Dabang Delhi

Chennai Lions handed Dabang Delhi a 8-1 drubbing in the final to lift the trophy. Solja defeated Scozs 2-1, while Apolonia wiped out Sathiyan 3-0 followed by another 3-0 victory for the Lions. The pair of Sharath Kamal and Petrissa Solja defeated Sathiyan and Scozs in thumping fashion.

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Chennai Lions is crowned champions of the Ultimate Table Tennis Season 03. Led by Sharath Kamal, the Lions defeated Sathiyan-led Dabang Delhi 8-1 in the final to lift the coveted trophy.

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's live blog of the Ultimate Table Tennis Season 3!

After 17 ties, 85 matches, 225 games played over 17 days of gruelling Table Tennis action, it's time for the final of UTT season 3 between Dabang Delhi TTC and Chennai Lions.

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran's Dabang Delhi,  , will take on Sharath Kamal's Chennai Lions in the summit clash at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in New Delhi.

Both finalists began their campaigns with losses against younger and quicker oppostions. Delhi lost 7-8 to Puneri Paltan Table Tennis, while Chennai suffered a 6-9 defeat at the hands of U Mumba.

However, Chennai and Delhi found their rhythm soon after, steadied their ships and raced to a 2nd and 3rd place finish in the league stage respectively.

In the first semi final, Delhi faced Manav Thakkar-led U Mumba and emerged victorious in a thriller that ended 8-7 in its favour.

The second semi-final saw the Lions take on Amalraj Anthony-led Goa Challengers and the result mirrored to that of the first semi. The match went down the wire only to see Chennai bag the contest 8-7.

The last time the two teams played each other, which also happened to the last league match, Delhi edged past Chennai 8-7 as Sathiyan's 2-1 victory over Kamal proved to the difference.

India's top two paddlers face each other one last time in the third edition of UTT as we are all set for the last hoorah.

This is a classic North-South battle, as Charu Sharma calls it.

I, Shivansh Gupta, will be bringing all the live updates, scores, highs and lows from the what promises to an enthralling final. So, sit back and let's find out who lifts the ULTIMATE PRIZE.

 

 

This is Shivansh Gupta signing off. Ciao!

That's all the action we have for you today. Thank you for joining us. Stay tuned to Sportstari  for all the updates from other sports.

PRESENTATION CEREMONY:

THE MOMENT HAS FINALLY ARRIVED. CHENNAI LIONS, LED BY SHARATH KAMAL, LIFTS THE TROPHY!

 

LEAGUE AWARDS UP NEXT:

SUPER SERVER OF THE LEAGUE - JON PERSSON (Dabang Delhi)

STANDOUT PLAYER OF THE LEAGUE- SUTIRTHA MUKHERJEE (U Mumba TT)- She didn't lose a single match throughout the league.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER OF THE LEAGUE (FEMALE)- Doo Hoi Kem (U Mumba TT)

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER OF THE LEAGUE (MALE)- SATHIYAN GNANSEKARAN

THE ULTIMATE ONE- Petrissa Solja (Chennai Lions)

 

 

TIE AWARDS UP FIRST:

RALLY OF THE DAY (MALE): Tiago Apolonia and Sathiyan

RALLY OF THE DAY (FEMALE): Petrissa Solja dn Bernadette Szocs.

INDIAN PLAYER OF THE DAY : Sharath Kamal

FOREIGN PLAYER OF THE DAY: Tiago Apolonia

SHOT  OF THE DAY: Tiago Apolonia

The host, Khuri Irani, starts off by thanking all the sponsors, partners, players, reserve players and the crowd.

PRESENTATION CEREMONY:

 

SUMMARY: The third and final match saw Sharath Kamal take down their opponents, point by point and race to a 3-0 victory. Coming off drubbings in their respective singles, the night only got worse for Szocs and Sathiyan. Kamal's thunderous forehand smashes, worked really well with his partner, Petrissa Solja to hand a 3-0 pounding to their opponents. The right-left combination worked wonders for the Lions as the team lifted the UTT SEASON 03 TROPHY.

The second match proved to be a humdinger. Tiago Apolonia showcased pure domination. The Portuguese s the aggressor from the start and didn't give Sathiyan any breathing space whatsoever. He kept winning the long rallies, won the forehand battle and his spin was too much to handle for the Indian. He was outclassed by Apolonia, 0-3.

In the first match of the day, Petrissa Solja got the better of Bernadette Szocs 2-1. Well, this was pure domination by Solja. She demolished her opponent in the first two games, with heavy topspins and quick returns. She forced errors off Bernadette. She was leading the in the third as well, before Bernadette found her mojo and clinched a two-point victory. This will do her confidence a world of good for the mixed doubles.

THIS WAS A LANDSLIDE VICTORY FOR CHENNAI.

Who would have expected Chennai to lift the trophy in such a fashion?

THE LIONS ROAR AND ABSOLUTELY DEMOLISH PADDLERS FROM DABANG DELHI.

FINAL SCORE:

CHENNAI- DELHI

8-1

 

Sharath/Solja take the third game 11-3

 

11-3: SATHIYAN HITS A BACKHAND RETURN LONG AND CHENNAI LIONS WINS THE THIRD SEASON OF ULTIMATE TABLE TENNIS.

10-3: 8 CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS FOR CHENNAI. Solja hits it long.

9-2: Petrissa Solja flicks it beautifully to Sathiyan's forehand.

7-1: CHENNAI IS 4 POINTS AWAY FROM THE TROPHY. SATHIYAN WAS RUNNING TOWARDS THE CENTRE OF THE TABLE BEFORE HE FOUND HIMSELF FETCHING A SOLJA RETURN TO HIS BACKHAND FROM THE back.

5-1: FIRST POINT OF THE GAME FOR DELHI. SIMPLE RETURN SMASHED INTO THE NET BY PETRISSA.

4-0: Let's not forget, Solja is playing her part for sure. Another great side-spin return and Szocs had no answers.

2-0: Sharath is let loose and he nails another cross-court smash. Too hot to handle for the Dabang Smashers.

1-0: IS THIS THE LAST GAME OF THE SEASON? IT'S A MUST WIN GAME FOR DELHI.

KAMAL PUTS IN A GIGANTIC SMASH.

Sharath/Solja take the second game 11-2

 

11-2: Bernadette Scozs was too eager to execute a quick return and CHENNAI IS ONE AWAY FROM LIFTING THE TITLE.

9-2: Simple return rammed into the net by Delhi's Sathiyan.

8-2: Oh, boy! Another point gifted to Chennai.

6-2: Bernadette Szocs' Tomahawk serves are easily being anticipated by the Lions here.

4-2: Stunning rally there! It had everyone on its feet, except Sharath who was on the floor and couldn't come back up on time.

4-1: IT'S REALLY NOT HAPPENING FOR DELHI. THIS TIME, SZOCS WITH A BACKHAND RETURN THT WENT LONG.

2-1: Kamal was in perfect position to return that backhand drive onto the table, but just missed out.

2-0: Chennai races to a two-point lead early in this game.

Sharath/Solja take the first game 11-7.

 

11-7: CHENNAI TAKES GAME 1 AND THE LIONS IS ONLY 2 GAMES AWAY FROM LIFTING THE TROPHY. GREAT FOREHAND TO SATHIYAN'S BODY, WHO COULDN'T EVEN MAKE CONTACT.

10-7: 3 GAME POINTS FOR CHENNAI. ONCE AGAIN. SHARATH KAMAL ROARS WITH A STINGING FOREHAND SMASH AND THERE WAS NO CHANCE FOR SCOZS.

9-7: Solja was too eager to smash the return back but she only hit it long.

8-6: Great forehand smash to Solja's body by Sathiyan.

8-4: HAS SATHIYAN GIVEN UP? NOTHIG IS GOING WRONG FOR HIM. SO MANY UNFORCED ERRORS.

6-4: Not two in a row for Kamal. Tried the same thing as last point as he flicked the ball to Sathiyan's backhand, but this time, it travels long.

6-3: Another backhand down the line return gone wrong by Sathiyan.

5-3: Clever return by Solja. Sathiyan was a little late off the serve and didn't get away on time to allow Szocs to return a great Solja return on time.

4-2: Sathiyan right on the top of the return there and he puts in a great backhand counter.

4-1: Cracking forehand by Kamal. If you give him time, he'll deliver the quality.

2-1: Jumping shot by Sathiyan to get the pair on the scoreboard.

1-0: Sharath Kamal begins with his favoured forehand.

MATCH 3:

Sharath Kamal (India) WR 37 and Petrissa Solja (Germany) WR 24

vs

Sathiyan (India) WR 30 vs Bernadette Szocs (Romania) WR 14

 

IT'S TIME FOR THE ONLY DOUBLES MATCH OF THE DAY. IT'S TIME FOR THE MIXED DOUBLES.

CURRENT SCORE:

CHENNAI- DELHI

5-1

Well, this was pure domination by the Portuguese. He was the aggressor from the start and didn't give Sathiyan any breathing space whatsoever. He kept winning the long rallies, won the forehand battle and his spin was too much to handle for the Indian.

TIAGO APOLONIA WINS THE SECOND MATCH WITH 3 GAMES TO 0

TIAGO APOLONIA TAKES GAME 3: 11-9

APOLONIA LETS HIS EMOTIONS OUT AND WHY NOT? CHENNAI LIONS WITH A HEFTY LEAD AND HE JUST BEAT THE HIGHEST-RANKED MALE PLAYER IN UTT SEASON 3.

ONCE AGAIN, BOTH PLAYERS WERE DEEP, FOREHAND TOPSPINS COUNTERS, THEN SATHIYAN IS PUSHED TO THE BACKHAND AND THAT'S WHEN APOLONIA WON IT WITH A GREAT SMASH DOWN THE SHORT SIDE.

WOW, 3-0 OVER SATHIYAN AND THIS CAN POTENTIALLY BE THE MALE RALLY OF THE DAY!

11-9: THAT WAS THE BEST POINT WE HAVE SEEN TODAY AND WHAT A WAY TO WIPE THE TABLE CLEAN!

ARE WE IN FOR A GOLDEN POINT?

10-9: It's just a one-point away. Another mistake from Apolonia. A backhand return goes long.

10-8: A little anxious Tiago there! Another unforced error! 2 game points saved by the Indian/

10-7: A WIPE-OUT IS JUST 1 POINT AWAY! but Apolonia hits his backhand long.

9-6: APOLONIA WAS ALWAYS THE FAVOURITE TO WIN IN THAT RALLY.

8-6: 3 of the last 4 points have gone the Indian's way.

8-5: Sathiyan went for the short side with a forehand smash, but rams it into the net. Oh, boy! His expressions say it all.

7-5: Sathiyan keeping up good pressure here as he forces another error from Tiago's bakchand return.

7-4: Rare forehand error by Apolonia. He went down the line, but jsut a bit too long.

7-3: The lead is now up to 4 points with Tiago.

6-2: A pendulum serve to Sathiyan's forehand, Sathiyan covers it with ease and Apolonia hits it wide.

5-0: OH, THIS IS THREATENING TO BE A WIPE-OUT. A HEAVY FOREHAND COUNTER BY SATHIYAN THAT CLIPS THE TOP OF THE NET AND FALLS JUST OUTSIDE THE TABLE. OH, IT GOES TO THE SHOW THE KIND OF MATCH SATHIYAN IS HAVING.

4-0: Apolonia serves and Sathiyan returns into the net.

2-0: Far from the table! Both players hitting heavy forehand top-spin shots from the deep, a great exchange and guess what? Sathiyan gifs another point.

1-0: Sathiyan serves first. Apolonia counters the serve on the return. Too quick for Sathiyan's comfort as his backhand return travels long.

THIS IS GOING FROM BAD TO WORSE FOR DELHI. A 4-1 LEAD WITH CHENNAI LIONS AND SATHIYAN NEEDS TO WIN THE THIRD GAME TO KEEP DELHI'S HOPES ALIVE OF A COMEBACK.

Tiago takes Game 1: 11-6

11-7: Game point for Tiago. A serve to Sathiyan's backhand, he invests heavily on the forehand upon Sathiyan's return and Sathiyan loses another game.

10-6: POINT OF THE TIE SO FAR! DON'T WE ALL LOVE LONG RALLIES, SKYLOBS AND THE FISHING GAME? Sathiyan pushed Tiago deep with his huge forehands, Tiago kept returning with skylobs before Sathiyan hit a smash long. 16 shots in the rally.

8-6: What happened there? Tiago wraps it deep to Sathiyan's forehand and he didn't expect the Indian to return it. But he had other ideas. Sathiyan managed to reach out for it and hit it back to the centre of the table. Apolonia was caught by surprise and he could only hit it into the net.

7-5: Plenty of aggression by Sathiyan there, during and after the point. A lot of side-spin, lured Apolonia to finish before killing the point. Well done, Sathiyan.

7-4: A forehand flick from the baseline by Tiago. He has been ready for Sathiyan's Tomahawk serve all day.

6-3: Tiago's forehand has been the difference between the two today. Wraps it across the table, it had pace and spin.

5-3: Another long rally and another point for Apolonia. Clever backhands by Sathiyan as he countered Tiago's heavy forehands, but he couldn't manage the last one.

4-3: Brilliant, two punch blocks and then the forehand smash to finish. No time for Tiago to counter that.

3-2: Apolonia with the wide reach, behind the table. Kept the spin on. Forces another error from Sathiyan.

2-1: Well done, Sathiyan. Terrific defense by Sathiyan. He countered Taigo's every heavy forehands before the Portuguese hit the 9th shot in the rally into the net.

2-0: Now, Sathiyan hits a backhand long.

1-0: The story continues. Another forehand winner by Tiago.

Tiago takes Game 1: 11-6

11-6: What a receive from the baseline of the table by Tiago. A pendulum serve to Tiago's forehand and it was more of a return smash. Tiago is clearly winning the forehand battle here.

10-6: 5 game points to Tiago. Phew, wide out on the forehand of the Portuguese. Well done.

9-4: That was unlucky for the Indian. The return by Tiago was off the net and that set him off and the return was destined to fly out.

8-3: WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE? ARE WE IN FOR ANOTHER UPSET? A simple backhand return that Sathiyan puts long.

7-3: Tiago coming out on top of all the long rallies. This was simply superb, a fishing shot and the counter to win the point.

5-3: That was fast an furious. Apolonia set himself for a forehand smash and directed it straight to Sathiyan's body, who could only hit it high and long.

4-3: Sathiyan slowly making inroads.

4-2: Sathiyan uses his served to great use and takes both the points off his serve.

4-0: Apolonia with a hefty lead. First, he pulled off a great forehand smash, before Sathiyan messed up a service return.

2-0: This time he tried to go to the short side, but his retun flies out.

1-0: Clever serve first up by Sathiyan, but he hits the return long.

MATCH 2: Tiago Apolonia (Portugal) WR 71 vs Sathiyan (India) WR 30

 

Oh, this is going to be a cracker.

We now shift our focus to match 2. The first men's singles of the night.

CURRENT SCORE:

CHENNAI- DELHI

2-1

SOLJA WINS THE FIRST MATCH WITH 2 GAMES TO 1

BERNADETTE SZOCS TAKES GAME 3: 11-9

Well, this was pure domination by Solja. She demolished her opponent in the first two games, with heavy topspins and quick returns. She forced errors off Bernadette. She was leading the in the third as well, before Bernadette found her mojo and clinched a two-point victory. This will do her confidence a world of good for the mixed doubles.

9-11: Game point to Szocs. SOLJA HITS THE BACKHAND INTO THE NET AND BOOM! DELHI WINS ITS FIRST GAME OF THE NIGHT and isn't Szocs delighted. Good for her and Delhi as the latter is on the scorecard.

9-9: FOUR IN A ROW FOR SOLJA! She set her up so well as Szocs hit another backhand long.

8-9: Heavy underspin on the pendulum serve and Scozs tried to receive it short at her forehand.

6-9: Solja breaks the bottle challenge serve well. It was fast and had topspin, but Solja deals it with really well.

5-8: Scozs mixing it up well. Another inside out crosscourt.

5-7: A bodyline smash to Petrissa and Scozs is pumped up.

5-6: Szocs into the lead. Solja with two continuous unforced errors.

5-4: Solja's spin is too much to handle for Szocs tonight. She was deep and a looping topspin return came to her hand, but she could only manage to hit it into the net.

4-4: SCORES LEVEL!

4-3: Rare mistake by Solja. This time, her backhand return flies out.

4-1: Solja's pace is making it difficult for Szocs, who plays close to the table, to get the return back to the table. This time, the latter hits it wide.

3-1: Things go from bad to worse for the Romanian. Another simple backhand return is hit long.

1-0: Solja sets that up beautifully. Cautious returns from both end, before Solja hits one deep with her backhand and Szocs couldn't pull off a parallel return.

PETRISSA SOLJA TAKES GAME 2: 11-4

11-4: Solja takes game 2 as well and Delhi and Bernadetter in early trouble. Another string backhand return by Solja that Szocs couldn't return.

9-4: Beautiful pancake move by Szocs. She pushed Solja deep with a backhand counter and then pounced on the return with a backhand smash cross-court.

9-3: Petrissa is spinning the web here and getting the better of Szocs.

8-3: Szocs tries another inside out across the table, but rams it inot the net.

7-2: Petrissa is in red-hot form today. Just before the second last shot, she moved a step back, she covers her side well and yet again, Szocs hits it into the net.

6-1: First big rally in the match and as expected, Solja comes out on top. Paraller shot down the line and Szocs was too deep to return that with a forehand.

5-1: But Szocs hit the next backhand block long.

4-1: Tomahawak serve by Szocs and she plays the inside out across the table really well.

3-0: The lead continues to grow for Petrissa. She is running away with it and is forcing mistakes off Szocs.

2-0: Solja anticipates the forehand smash and blocks with with perfection.

1-0: Top of the net and the edge of the table, double whamy for Szocs. Gah, that's unfortunate.

PETRISSA SOLJA TAKES GAME 1: 11-5

11-5: Petrissa takes the first game. Solja handling the pressure better and Szocs has clearly look off colour.

10-5: 5 GAME POINTS FOR PETRISSA. She came out very quickly on the spin and is keeping her at bay.

8-5: Solja's wrist makes it so difficult for the opponent to read the shot. Crisp forehand and it proves to be good for Szocs.

7-5: A forehand topspin shot goes long and Bernadette gifts another point.

5-5: SCORES LEVEL. WELL DONE, BERNADETTE!

5-4: Backhand across the table by Bernadetter and she catches Solja off-guard. Fierce forehand counter.

5-2: The pendulum serve to Solja's forehand, the German with a beautiful return and gets the better of the Romanian.

3-2: Another forehand counter gone wrong for Bernadetter. This into into the net.

2-2: Solja hits on long.

2-1: Nerves will take time to settle in. Bernadette hits a forehand smash long.

1-0: Solja with a great serve and takes the first point.

 

The players for the first match are at the table and are warming up.

MATCH 1: Petrissa Solja (Germany) WR 24 vs Bernadette Szocs (Romania) WR 14

 

THE FAMOUS Table Tennis commentator, Adam Bobrow will be commentating with India's veteran commentator, Charu Sharma.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE ARE MOMENTS AWAY FROM

TOSS: Chennai has won the toss and the Lions will serve first. Delhi will start at the far side of the table.

BIG NEWS: Sathiyan and Kamal will not be facing each other today as the Lions' captain has entrusted Apolonia with the duty of beating Sathiyan.

Kamal will play Persson in the second men's semi-final.

ORDER OF PLAY: (WR stands for World Rank)

MATCH 1: Petrissa Solja (Germany) WR 24 vs Bernadette Szocs (Romania) WR 14

MATCH 2: Tiago Apolonia (Portugal) WR 71 vs Sathiyan (India) WR 30

MATCH 3: Sharath Kamal (India) WR 37 and Petrissa Solja (Germany) WR 24 vs Sathiyan (India) WR 30 vs Bernadette Szocs (Romania) WR 14

MATCH 4: Sharath Kamal (India) WR 37 vs Jon Persson (Sweden) WR 63

MATCH 5: Madhurika Patkar (India) WR 132 vs Naina (India) WR 802

 

Road to Final: CHENNAI LIONS

Tie 2: Lost to U Mumba TT (6-9)

Tie 4: Defeated Puneri Paltan Table Tennis (10-5)

Tie 7: Defeated Goa Challengers (8-7)

Tie 13: Defeated RP-SG Mavericks Kolkata (11-4)

Tie 15: Lost to Dabang Delhi TTC (7-8)

 

SEMI FINAL: Defeated Goa Challengers (8-7)

 

Road to Final: DABANG DELHI TTC

Tie 1: Lost to Puneri Paltan Table Tennis (7-8)

Tie 5: Defeated U Mumba TT (9-6)

Tie 9: Lost to Goa Challengers (7-8)

Tie 11: Defeated RP-SG Mavericks Kolkata (10-5)

Tie 15: Defeated Chennai Lions (8-7)

 

SEMI FINAL: Defeated U Mumba (8-7)

 

 

TOP TWO PLAYERS FROM BOTH TEAMS:

CHENNAI LIONS:

1) Petrisa Solja:

Matches Playes-6 | Total Winners- 24 | Games Played- 18 | Games Won- 11|

Service Points Won-10 | Super Serves- 10 | Points Won- 365

2) Sharath Kamal:

Matches Playes-6 | Total Winners- 34 | Games Played- 18 | Games Won- 9|

Service Points Won-18 | Super Serves- 18 | Points Won- 347

 

DABANG DELHI:

1) G. Sathiyan:

Matches Playes-6 | Total Winners- 29 | Games Played- 18 | Games Won- 13|

Service Points Won-29 | Super Serves- 29 | Points Won- 337

2) Bernadette Szocs:

Matches Playes-6 | Total Winners- 19 | Games Played- 18 | Games Won- 10|

Service Points Won-38 | Super Serves- 38 | Points Won- 333

 

 

This is what they are playing for. The coveted trophy:

 

TEAM FORMS:

-->DABANG DELHI: TIES PLAYED-6 | TIES WON-4 | MATCHES WON- 13 | GAMES WON- 41

 

-->CHENNAI LIONS: TIES PLAYED-6 | TIES WON-4 | MATCHES WON- 14 | GAMES WON- 42