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Falcons fly into the second spot

Setting it off: Matilda Ekholm put the Falcons on the road to victory, defeating Divya Deshpande.

Setting it off: Matilda Ekholm put the Falcons on the road to victory, defeating Divya Deshpande.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

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Sanil Shetty and Manav Thakkar draw a blank in singles

Falcons’ flight into the top-four bracket stayed on course with 15-6 dismantling of Empowerji Challengers, as Sanil Shetty and Manav Thakkar drew a blank in singles, in the Ultimate Table Tennis league here Sunday.

The one-sided result lifted Falcons to the second spot with 45 points and pushed Challengers to the fifth with 36.

After the teams were locked 3-3 following two singles matches, Falcons broke away with Sanil making amends for his ordinary show in the singles by pulling off the doubles with ease in the company of the energetic Bernadette Szocs.

Liam Pitchford maintained his unbeaten streak with a 2-1 win over Tiago Apolonia. The 49th-ranked Briton made light of the loss of the opening set to the Portuguese, placed nine rungs higher, and then called the shots to live up to his team’s expectations.

Bernadette, ranked 36th, took a leaf out of Pitchford’s book and upstaged Lee Ho Ching in straights sets. Later, the 20th-ranked Hong Kong girl did prove superior to Sutirtha Mukherjee but not before dropping a game to the World No. 613.

Even though there were victories for lower-ranked players in the tie, the singles matches involving Sanil and Manav disappointed the vociferous crowd.

Sanil could not reproduce the magic of Friday and went down to World No. 12 Simon Gauzy, the highest-ranked player in the league this season, without a fight. The left-handed Indian could manage on 13 points during the 3-0 drubbing.

Manav, ranked second in the world among juniors and the most promising Indian kid on the block, faced 56th ranked Alvaro Robles. In the first two sets, Manav ran Robles close but perished without a fight in the third.

The results: Falcons beat Challengers 15-6 (Matilda Ekholm bt Divya Deshpande 11-9, 11-6, 11-7; Sanil Shetty lost to Simon Gauzy 5-11, 3-11, 5-11; Sanil Shetty & Berdadette Szocs bt Manav Thakkar & Georgina Pota 11-4, 11-9, 11-8; Liam Pitchford bt Tiago Apolonia 8-11, 11-7, 11-8; Bernadette Szocs bt Lee Ho Ching 11-9, 11-3, 11-10; Alvaro Robles bt Manav Thakkar 11-10, 11-9 11-2; Suthirtha Mukherjee lost to Lee Ho Ching 9-11, 11-5, 9-11).

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 10:41:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/falcons-fly-into-the-second-spot/article24247660.ece

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