UTT: U Mumba mauls Goa Challengers as in-form Thakkar, Doo Hoi shine

Much before the tie ended 11-4, Mumba opened up lead of 9-1 that proved the biggest seen in the third season of Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) league.

U Mumba's Doo Hoi Kem (L) and Manav Thakkar (R) playing the mixed doubles in the tie against Goa Challengers in the third season of Ultimate Table Tennis.   -  UTT

Contrary to expectations of a close battle, U Mumba left fellow title-contender Goa Challengers embarrassed.

Much before the tie ended 11-4, Mumba opened up lead of 9-1 that proved the biggest seen in the third season of Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) league here on Monday.

Manav Thakkar was the best Indian on view as he upstaged A. Amalraj 2-1. Joined by Doo Hoi Kem, who handed out a 3-0 defeat to teenager Archana Kamath, Thakkar played his part to perfection in the mixed doubles, too. The duo raced away to a 3-0 win over Alvaro Robles and Archana to give the side an 8-1 lead with two matches to spare.

Mumba completed its five-match league engagements with an aggregate of 44 points. It is followed by Dabang Delhi (33 from four matches), Goa Challengers (30 from four) and RP-SG Mavericks (26 from four), Chennai Lions (24 from three) and Puneri Paltan (23 from four).

READ | UTT 2019: Sathiyan powers Dabang Delhi to the top, Mavericks faces elimination

If Goa managed to marginally bridge the gap it was because world no. 86 Alvaro Robles bounced back to beat the highly-talented Kirill Gerassimenko, ranked 45, 2-1.

However, Goa’s best bet, world no. 9 Chinese Taipie girl Cheng I-Ching was yet to recover fully from indisposition and committed too many mistakes in her 2-1 defeat to a free-hitting Sutirtha Mukherjee.

Robles, the reigning men’s doubles World championship silver medallist, was keen to make amends for the 3-0 mauling he and teenager Archana Kamath received in the mixed doubles tie.

After dropping the opening game to World No. 45 Kirill Gerassimenko on ‘golden point; after leading 10-8, Robles raised his intensity further and what followed was the most thrilling battle of the evening.

Robles eventually came out stronger in the last two games, winning some long rallies, some ranging from 13 to 19 shots, on the way. Before Robles gave Goa its only win, it was Mumba all the way.

The results:

U Mumba beat Goa Challengers 11-4

Doo Hoi Kem bt Archana Kamath 11-8, 11-10, 11-8

Manav Thakkar bt A. Amalraj 11-7, 5-11, 11-9

Thakkar and Doo bt Alvaro Robles and Archana 11-7, 11-10, 11-8

Kirill Gerassimenko lost to Robles 11-10, 7-11, 7-11

Sutirtha bt Cheng I-Ching 11-6, 11-9, 6-11

 

Tuesday’s fixture

Chennai Lions v RP-SG Mavericks, Kolkata (7 pm)