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Harmeet wins first major open international title




New Delhi, November 18: Harmeet Desai defeated compatriot Anthony Amalraj in the final of the 2019 ITTF Challenge Indonesia Open at Batam to win his first open international men singles title.


The No.3 seeded Indian defeated No. 6 Amalraj 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 11-8 to secure a major title in his career. The match almost went the full distance and both played a riveting final, especially Amalraj after being 1-3 down.


When it reached the fifth game, Harmeet played brilliantly but Amalraj matched it equally well to deuce. At 10-10, Harmeet had the advantage but he lost and Amalraj, seizing the opportunity, reduced the margin further.


But the Surat man’s excellent block and counters in the sixth helped him coast along. The match had fine long rallies and Harmeet’s percentage game at crucial junctures, particularly when Amaraj gave away some negatives, hastened the process in favour of Harmeet.



In the semi-finals, Harmeet defeated No. 5 seed from Lam Siu Hang from Hong Kong 11-5, 16-18, 4-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8. Though Harmeet began well against the Hong Kong paddler he went down 1-2 soon before regrouping himself to not only catch up with his opponent and finally going through by winning the sixth game.


Amalraj, on the other hand, had it rather easy in his semi-final encounter against Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw, who is seeded No. 7. The Indian won 11-4, 11-7, 11-8, 11-3.