QATAR. Doha: Indian table tennis player Achanta Sharath Kamal has suffered a 6-11, 4-11, 8-11 defeat against World Rank-7, Lin Yun-Ju of Chinese Taipei in the men’s singles pre-quarters of the World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender, Doha on Thursday.
Sharath Kamal began the 2021 season with an impressive victory after defeating Czech Republic’s Pavel Sirucek 17-15, 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 in the men’s singles opening round at the World Table Tennis Contender.
The World No. 32, Sharath, who was playing his first international tournament after a year’s break due to the coronavirus pandemic, was unable to gain momentum despite showing good resistance in the latter part of the match against the higher-ranked paddler Lin Yun-Ju. With Sharath’s loss, the Indian challenge came to an end in the tournament.
Top Indian paddler World No. 37, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, who also secured a direct entry into the main draw alongside 2006 Commonwealth Games champion Sharath, suffered 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 loss at the hands of top-ranked, Nigerian paddler World No. 20, Aruna Quadri in the Round-of-32.
Paddlers Manika Batra and Sreeja Akula also lost their opportunities to play further in final qualifying round matches in the women’s singles category respectively.
While Batra lost to World No. 69 Ganna Gaponova 5-11, 6-11, 14-12, 5-11, Akula, made her Russian opponent Mariia Tailkova work hard and almost got the momentum shifted in her favor with a come-from-behind 2-1 lead before losing the tie 9-11, 11-5, 11-6, 6-11, 5-11.
Another dynamic Indian paddler, Harmeet Desai had also suffered in the tournament with a 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 8-11, 2-11 defeat against Russia’s Alexander Shibaev in the third-round match of the men’s singles qualifiers. Despite dominating the first two games, Desai couldn’t hold his nerves and conceded an unexpected loss.