NEW DELHI: Achanta Sharath Kamal won the opening tie but the Indian men squandered the early lead and went down 2-3 to Serbia in the second round of the World team table tennis championships in Moscow on Saturday. However, the women scored a hard-fought 3-2 win over Israel.

The Indian men were off to a fine start with Sharath and former National champion Subhajit Saha clinching the first two ties. Sharath thrashed Aleksandar Karakasevic 3-0 and Subhajit hardly broke a sweat while beating Zolt Pete 3-1.

Soumyadeep Roy, however, failed to swell the lead and went down to Marko Jevtovic 1-3.

Serbia remarkably clawed its way back into the contest as both Subhajit and Sharath were defeated by an identical 0-3 scoreline in the next two ties. The former lost to Karakasevic while Sharath was defeated by Pete.

India meets Turkey in the play-off for the 29th-32nd position.

In the women's contest, K. Shamini overcame Israel's Natali Ruvman 3-1 to give India a 1-0 advantage. Marina Kravchenko then humbled former National champion Mouma Das 0-3, but Madhurika Patkar overcame Einat Amar to put India ahead again.

Although Shamini suffered a 1-3 defeat to Kravchenko in the fourth tie, Mouma used her experience to beat Ruvman 3-0 and sealed the issue for India.

The Indian women now face Estonia, which beat Portugal 3-1. — PTI

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