Sharath powers into quarters; Archana out

Sharath powers into quarters; Archana out

India’s Sharath Kamal powered into the men’s singles quarterfinals with a fluent 11-8, 11-7, 11-4, 14-16, 11-5 upset victory over fourth-seeded Yuto Muramatsu in the ITTF World Tour India Open table tennis at the Thyagaraj sports complex on Friday.

Against the defensive style of the World No 24 Japanese, who chiefly resorted to backhand blocks and push, Sharath played a free-flowing attacking game, and with a flurry of power-packed forehand drives put Muramatsu in a constant spot of bother.

The only time the 34-year-old Indian wobbled was in the fourth game, when he allowed the nerves get the better of him to fritter away four match points. He, however, made amends in the fifth, reeling off six points before closing out the match.

“He was not able to cope with my forehand shots. I was hitting some rockets today," said Sharath, who next plays sixth-seeded Paul Drinkhall.

Sharath is the lone survior in the singles draw after Sanil Shetty fell to eighth-seeded Austrian Robert Gardos 9-11, 11-8, 12-10, 4-11, 7-11, 7-11 in the second round and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan lost to ninth-seeded Masataka Morizono 9-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8, 10-12, 8-11 in the first round.

India’s challenge in women’s singles was over by afternoon. In the first round, Moumita Dutta lost to 11th-seeded Tze Wing Mak of Hong Kong 11-9, 5-11, 10-12, 12-10, 8-11, 5-11 and Harsha Varshini Calange was blanked by sixth-seeded Japanese Sakura Mori 11-8, 11-5, 11-5, 11-7. The Japanese, then returned, later in the day to scalp another Indian girl, Archana Kamath.

Archana, however, had begun her campaign with a flourish, beating compatriot Ayhika Mukherjee 9-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 12-10 in the first round and impressed in her 11-3, 13-11, 5-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-4 defeat to world under-21 champion Mori.

The 16-year-old Bengaluru girl was cagey at the start against an aggressive Mori and quickly fell behind by two games. She then fought back in the third, mixing things up and using her backhand blocks to good use. However, the Japanese was too solid, and stuck to the basics to extend the lead in the fourth. At 7-10 in the fifth game, she had three match points but Archana levelled before winning. But it was all the young Indian could manage. Mori, with her shrill shouts hitting a crescendo on each point won, allowed her opponent mere four points in the sixth game to seal the contest.

There was also an upset in store with Hong Kong’s Tze Wing Mak taking out compatriot and second-seeded Ho Ching Lee  5-11, 4-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9,11-9, 11-9.

Results (Indian unless mentioned): Men’s Singles: First round: 9-Masataka Morizono (Jpn) bt Sathiyan Gnanasekaran 11-9, 12-10, 7-11, 8-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-8; Joao Geraldo (Por) bt 13-Steffan Mengel (Ger) 11-9, 13-11, 11-7, 11-7; 1-Dimitrij Ovtcharov (Ger) bt Abdulaziz Al-Abbad (Ksa) 11-3, 11-5, 11-4, 11-2; 5-Yuya Oshima (Jpn) bt Lubomir Jancarik (Cze) 11-8, 9-11, 13-11, 18-16, 11-2.

Second round: 3-Koki Niwa (Jpn) bt Harmeet Desai 14-16, 11-6, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9; 6-Paul Drinkhall (Eng) bt 10-Ruwen Filus (Ger) 11-4, 16-14, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5; Tianyi Jiang (Hkg) bt 12-Ricardo Walther (Ger) 11-3, 7-11, 11-4, 4-11, 11-5, 11-9, 14-12; 14-Tomokazu Harimoto (Jpn) bt Asuka Sakai (Jpn) 11-9, 11-7, 13-15, 11-7, 11-13, 11-7; 11-Sharath Kamal bt Yuto Muramatsu 11-8, 11-7, 11-4, 14-16, 11-5; 8-Robert Gardos (Aut) bt Sanil Shetty 11-9, 8-11, 10-12, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7.

Women’s Singles: First round: 6-Sakura Mori (Jpn) bt Harsha Varshini 11-8, 11-5, 11-5, 11-7; 11-Tze Wing Mak (Hkg) bt Moumita Dutta 9-11, 11-5, 12-10, 10-12, 11-8, 11-5; Archana Kamath bt Ayhika Mukherjee 9-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 12-10; Second round: 1-Hoi Kem Doo (Hkg) bt Mousumi Paul 11-2, 11-6, 11-6, 13-11; 5-Huajun Jiang (Hkg) bt Sutirtha Mukherjee 11-4, 11-3, 13-11, 9-11, 11-6; 4-Matilda Ekholm (Swe) bt 13-Po-Hsuan Lin (Tpe) 11-3, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6; 8-Wing Nam Ng (Hkg) bt 12-Mouma Das 11-6, 11-7, 11-9, 15-13; 3-Georgina Pota (Hun) bt 9-Wai Yam Minnie Soo (Hkg) 11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 12-10; 11-Tze Wing Mak (Hkg) bt 2-Ho Ching Lee (Hkg) 5-11, 4-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9; 6-Sakura Mori (Jpn) bt Archana Kamath 11-3, 13-11, 5-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-4.

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