Harpal Singh Bedi
Surat: Top seed G Sathiyan and second seed A Sharath Kamal registered easy victories while local mixed doubles pair of Manav Thakkar and Filzah Fatema Kadri upset top seeds Sanil Shetty and Reethrishya Tennison( Maharashtra) in the table tennis competition at the 36th National Games here on Thursday.
In fact, five of the eight seeds in the mixed doubles draw could not make it to the quarter final stage.
In men’s singles, Sathiyan packed off Wesley Do Roserio of Haryana 13-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 while Sharath converted his fifth match point to beat Maharashtra’s Ravindra Kotiyan 11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 17-15.
Local hopes Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar also began their campaigns with facile victories in the second round. All the seeds enjoyed a bye in the opening round.
Thakkar wasted four match points in the fourth set but regrouped to beat Uttar Pradesh’s Sarth Mishra 11-5, 11-6, 11-6, 14-16, 11-6 while Desai hammered Telangana’s Mohammed Ali 11-4, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8.
But the performance of the day definitely came from Thakkar and Kadri, who teamed up for the first time at any level.
The unseeded pair began their campaign with an easy win over Uttar Pradesh’s Sridhar Joshi and Mahika Dixit but their real test was going to be against the husband-wife combination of Shetty and Reeth.
Rising to the occasion, Kadri played a solid second foil to Thakkar as she not only did her job of keeping the ball in play effectively but also found opportunities to score winners as the pair registered a 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 victory.
“It’s a great feeling to beat a team which is in the top 6 in the national ranking. We are hoping to play with the same energy tomorrow and win a medal,” said Kadri after the match.
Thakkar was all praise for his partner. “She is very aggressive, she is an attacker. We have practiced a lot during training so we understand each other’s moves very well,” he said.