by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor.
Soumyajit Ghosh, Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty have all competed in two days of qualification, for Sharath Kamal Achanta it is very different.
In the morning session of play, partnering Sanil Shetty, he confronts Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto and Yukiya Uda in the opening round of the Men’s Doubles event; that will help but in no way can it compare with the four matches that his first round Men’s Singles adversary has completed.
He faces Can Akkuzu and if there was any player in the qualification tournament who was on fire, it was the 19 year old Frenchman. He finished in top place in his group without surrendering a single game; three matches played, 12 games won, none surrendered.
Furthermore, he took a liking to Indian player, notably he beat Subhajit Saha (11-4, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5) in his concluding group match, after having on the opening day of action accounted for Japan’s Asuka Sakai (11-9, 11-3, 11-9, 11-8).
The win against Asuka Sakai underlines the current good form of Can Akkuzu; on the second day of play Asuka Sakai won the Under 21 Men’s Singles title.
Furthermore, the win in opposition to Subhajit Saha is surely a good omen. Subhajit Saha is the same age as Sharath Kamal Achanta; moreover, together they won the Men’s Doubles title at the New Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Avoiding a surprise, for Soumyajit Ghosh, Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty, the task is to cause a surprise.
In the opening round of the Men’s Singles event, Soumyajit Ghosh and Sanil Shetty both face German adversaries; Soumyajit Ghosh confronts Ricardo Walther, the no. 12 seed, Sanil Shetty opposes Patrick Baum, the no.15 seed.
Meanwhile, Harmeet Desai confronts Frenchman, Tristan Flore, the no.16 seed; as for Asuka Sakai, like Can Akkuzu, a man now in form, he faces the toughest round one task of all. He opposes Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, the no.2 seed. Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov does not start his quest until Friday 17th February.
Somewhat similarly in the Women’s Singles event, the leading names on duty do not start their schedule of matches until the second day of action. Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching alongside Hungary’s Georgina Pota and Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm can watch others sweat and toil.
However, no doubt Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching will have at least half an eye on their colleagues who all face Indian adversaries.
Jiang Huajun meets Krittwika Roy, Ng Wing Nam confronts Priyadarshini Das, Mak Tze Wing opposes Moumita Das.