The wait for G. Sathiyan to get his hands on the national table tennis championship winner’s trophy is finally over.
Playing his fourth final in seven years, Sathiyan ended the jinx by defeating nine-time winner Sharath Kamal, 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8 in under 50 minutes to Panchkula.
The two Chennai-based players, ranked in the world’s top 50, produced some thrilling patch times although the title battle did not reach great heights.
Two years ago, when Sharath broke Kamlesh Mehta’s record of eight titles by beating Sathiyan in the final, the champion was frank in admitting that his young rival was clearly “unlucky” to lose while he was extremely lucky in the last few. decision maker points.
Even on Tuesday, Sharath was kind enough to greet the new champion: “Sathiyan deserved to win it all. He played a lot better as I was lucky enough to win the third game. Although I had my chances, but I couldn’t take them. No excuses. I am very happy for Sathiyan.
For his part, Sathiyan was naturally more relieved than excited. “The monkey is off my back. Winning the national title means a lot to me, having come so close in the past. My trainer S. Raman (four-time national champion) has always maintained that winning the national title is not a problem if we prepare for the challenges.
“All these years we’ve been preparing for the Pro Tour and coming to the Nationals without making the right adjustments. This year, I must say that our preparations have paid off.
To take it out
About letting go of a 9-7 lead in Game 3 and giving Sharath a chance to bounce back in the game, Sathiyan admitted, “Yeah. At this point, I started to think too far and lost my focus for a while. But I’m glad I was right in the end.
Sathiyan received ₹ 2.50 lakh and a trophy while Sharath collected ₹ 1.65 and the final trophy.
In the morning, Sharath was tested thoroughly by a fighter Manav Thakkar while Sathiyan had an easier time against unseeded SFR Snehit.
The results: Final: G. Sathiyan (Pet) by A. Sharath Kamal (Pet) 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8; Semi-finals: Sharath bt Manav Thakkar (Pet) 11-8, 5-11, 14-12, 11-9, 9-11, 17-15; Sathiyan bt SFR Snehit (TS) 13-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-5.
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