Sanil Shetty and Bernadette Szocs hogged the limelight in the CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) Powered by Kellogg’s tie at the Thyagaraj Stadium on Sunday, giving defending champions Falcons TTC a big 15-6 victory over Empoweji Challengers.
The 28-year-old Sanil lost his singles match 0-3 to France’s Simon Gauzy but bounced back in the mixed doubles, pairing with Bernadette Szocs, to upstage Manav Thakkar and Georgina Pota 11-4, 11-9, 11-8.
The Indo-Romanian pair who won three of their last four matches proved their superiority by pocketing the first game 11-4. Thakkar and Hungarian Pota put up better-kept things under control and not only won the game but went on to claim the third as well.
The 23-year-old Szocs ranked 36, extended her winning run in the singles by upsetting world No. 20 Lee Ho Ching 3-0 (11-9, 11-3, 11-10). Captain Liam Pitchford and Alvaro Robles maintained Falcons’ stranglehold on the proceedings with contrasting victories. Pitchord continued his winning streak this season with contrasting victories. Pitchford continued his winning straeak this season with a hard-fought 2-1 (8-11,11-7, 11-8) victory against Tiago Apolonia while Spaniard Robles downed India’s teen star Manav Thakkar 3-0 (11-10, 11-9, 11-2).
Earlier, world No. 3-0 Matilda Ekholm gave Falcons a winning start, defeating Divya Deshpande 3-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-70. Challengers’ captain and world No. 12 Gauzy levelled the scores with an emphatic 11-5, 11-3, 11-5 victocry over Shetty. But Falcons came back strongly by winning the next four matchs. Challengers other success came in the last match of the tie when Lee Ho Ching defeated Sutirtha Mukherjee.
How they stand: 1. Dabang Smashers 48 poin 45 points; 2. Falcons TTC 45 points; 3. Maharashtra United 38 points; 4. RP-SG Mavericks 37 points; 5. Empowerji Challengers 36 points; 6. Warriors TTC 28 points