Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: RP-SG Mavericks Kolkata’s cup of misery was filled to the brim as they lost 4-11 to Chennai Lions in their last outing in Ultimate Table Tennis tie here on Tuesday.
The victory took the Lions closer to a semi-final berth, where U Mumba and Dabang Delhi are already ensconced. The Lions won all the four matches, with captain Sharath Kamal alone suffering a rare defeat.
They began on a thumping note, with Petrissa Solja (Germany; World No. 24) overcoming a fighting Matilda Ekholm (Sweden; No. 23) in the first Women’s Singles.
Petrissa had an easy run in the opening set, sprinting to an 8-3 lead and a 11-7 victory. The second set, however, was a close contest, although Petrissa always managed to stay in the lead. She failed to convert two match points and had to rely on the golden point to demoralise Matilda.
The Swede, though, refused to buckle down, regaining parity all the way till 9-all. That’s when Petrissa produced her magic and took the next two points to complete a clean sweep.
Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia then added two more points to the Lions’ kitty, beating a gritty Sanil Shetty 2-1 (11-9, 11-6, 3-11 ). The first set was fought on equal terms, with Sanil relying on his attacking instinct to keep RP-SG in the contest. Tiago, however, was up to it and used his height to his advantage to make it 11-9.
The second set too was fairly comfortable, after the usual jousting at the start. Tiago, however, maintained his calm and wrapped it up 11-6. He eased up after collecting two points for his team and ended up giving it away 3-11.
The Mixed Doubles too proved to be an uneven contest, with Sharath Kamal and Petrissa Solja proving to be too strong for Benedikt Duda and Manika Batra.The Lions lost the first set, a close game that they should have won. They were ahead all through and even had two match points. But a couple of mistakes saw them give away the set.
Sharath-Petrissa steadied themselves thereafter, though, winning handsomely at 11-4, 11-7. Sharath, however, couldn’t complete the kill in the reverse Men’s Singles, losing to Benedikt Duda 1-2 (7-11, 11-5, 7-11).
The final Women’s Singles turned out to be an all Indian affair in which , Madhurika Patkar downed Manika Batra 3-0 to end RP-SG’s campaign on a pathetic note.
Chennai Lions bt RP-SG Mavericks Kolkata: 11-4
Womens Singles: Petrissa Solja bt Matilda Ekholm 3-0 (11-7, 11-10, 11-9)
Mens Sinlges: Tiago Apolonia bt Sanil Shetty 2-1 (11-9, 11-6, 3-11 )
Mixed Doubles: Sharath Kamal/ Petrissa Solja bt Benedikt Duda/ Manika Batra 2-1 (10-11, 11-4, 11-7)
Mens Single: Sharath Kamal lost to Benedikt Duda 1-2 (7-11, 11-5, 7-11)
Womens Single: Madhurika Patkar bt Manika Batra – 3-0 (11-5, 11-10, 11-8)