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Sharath, Sathiyan in Qatar Open PQF




New Delhi, March 9:  Achanta Sharath Kamal and G. Sathiyan made great impact when they defeated Japanese Koki Niwa, the No.5 seed, and Yuya Oshima, the No. 15 seed, respectively, to enter the singles pre-quarterfinals of the 2018 ITTF Wold Tour Platinum Qatar Open at Doha late last evening.


If Sharath disposed of Koki Nowa 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 14-12, 11-9 rather easily, the passage of Sathiyan saw a roller-coaster ride before the Indian prevailed over Oshima 6-11, 11-5, 2-11, 12-10, 10-12, 11-4, 11-8 in a tension-ridden Round of 32.


Understandably, the match between Sathiyan and Oshima had several Indian expats on the edge of their seats and, in fact, their support endeared him to put up a spirited fight against the 15th seed Japanese who was awesome to 3-1.


The turnaround for Sathiyan happened when he held on to the fifth game 12-10 after deuce—he lost the previous game 10-12—to level score in the second consecutive thriller. But it gave the necessary confidence to Sathiyan as he won the last two games, striking a nice rhythm.  


Immensely pleased, Sathiyan attributed his success to the strong forehand top spin attack. I am happy I pulled it off, particularly after losing the fifth game,” he said.


But his next outing in round of 16 will be much tougher he takes on the Japanese child prodigy Tomokazu Harimato, who needs no introduction to his Indian fans.


For Sharath, who did not have a good track record against Koki Nowa, the win looked rather sweet as he was down in most games. Yet, Sharath was impressive throughout and his experience came to the fore when he caused one of the biggest upsets in the championships with his strong backhand fetching him good results.



“I have never beaten him before, last year at the Asian Championships in the team event I had three match points and lost. In the first game I was ahead 8-5 and lost, in the second I was down 8-5 and won! The only way for me to beat him was to use my power, take some risks. In rallies I had no chance against him. I also tried to slow down and not play fast,” said Sharath.


In the next round late evening today, Sharath will take on Jonathan Groth of Denmark and if the Indian continues the way he did last evening, he should



The two Indians also combined well to enter men doubles quarterfinals before bowing out 12-10, 10-12, 1-11, 10-12 to the top-seeded Chinese pair of Fang Bo and Lin Gaoyuan earlier in the afternoon yesterday.


But before that they beat Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson and Mattias Karlsson, the fifth seeded pair, 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 11-4 in another thriller. In fact, the Indian duo looked strong in the first two games but midway through lost steam as the Swedes made a good recovery to level the score. However, in the decider the two Indians made it look easy at the end sending their adversaries packing.