NAGPUR: Experienced Indian paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal produced a stunning performance to make his way into the men’s singles pre-quarterfinals of the World Table Tennis (WTT) Star Contender Doha on Tuesday.
The seasoned campaigner, ranked 32 in the world, came up as a surprise for Germany’s World No.16 Patrick Franziska in a five-game thrilling tie. Sharath won the contest 12-10, 3-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9.
In a hard-fought exciting second round clash, Sharath began the battle with a 1-0 lead before his German opponent made a comeback to level the scores. The third and fourth game also saw equal domination from both the players as they took the match into the decider.
The nine-time senior national champion kept his cool in the deciding game and got the better of Franziska to wrap up the match in his favour marginally 11-9. In the last-16 stage, Sharath will now face the winner of Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh and German Dimitrij Ovtcharov on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the two remaining Indian paddlers Gnanasekaran Sathiyan and Manika Batra couldn’t manage to progress further after suffering defeats in their respective men and women singles second round matches.
While World No. 63 Manika fell short 7-11, 6-11, 7-11 against Japan’s Mima Ito, who is ranked third in the world, Sathiyan couldn’t manage to succeed against the Japanese sensation and World No. 5 Tomokazu Harimoto and suffered a 4-11, 5-11, 8-11 loss.