by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Presently listed at no.200 on the Men’s World Rankings, never higher, he accounted for Finland’s Benedek Olah, named at no.87, the winner last year on the ITTF World Tour in Lagos and arguably a player whose backhand is as powerful as any on the international scene.
Impressively Sanil Shetty emerged successful in five games (11-13, 11-5, 11-8, 11-9, 11-1). One day earlier, in his opening group stage contest, he had beaten the host nation’s Fred Xu (11-1, 11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9).
“I never played him before so I did a lot of tactical preparation watching some of his matches on video. Olah has a good service and a very strong and powerful backhand. In general, I think I was more consistent throughout the match and everything turned out well. I have a lot of confidence for the next rounds and I hope I can cause more upsets on the main draw.” Sanil Shetty
Success for Sanil Shetty on what proved a successful day for India; likewise colleagues Harmeet Desai, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Amalraj Anthony all concluded their group matches unbeaten and thus reserved places in the main draw.
The highest rated in their respective groups, all concluded their initial phase contests in style. Harmeet Desai beat Scotland’s Gavin Rumgay (12-10, 11-7, 11-3, 11-4); Sathiyan Gnanasekaran accounted for Singapore’s Clarence Chew (11-5, 13-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5), whilst Amalraj Anthony overcame Australia’s Lyu Zhe (11-8, 11-8, 13-11, 11-3).
“All four Indian players have qualified for main draw at the Seamaster 20177 ITTF World Tour Platinum Australian Open, which highlights the entire national team had good preparation. We all participated in an intense training camp in recent weeks, a total of 50 players, men, women, junior boys and girls. It is preparation for the upcoming Indian League, a most anticipated event for all of us!” Sanil Shetty
Emphatic wins, it was the same from the leading names on duty as the first stage concluded.
Singapore’s Gao Ning beat New Zealand’s Kelsey Amor (11-1, 11-6, 11-3, 11-3), England’s Paul Drinkhall ended the hopes of Australia’s Wade Townsend (11-6, 11-6, 11-1, 14-12), whilst Japan’s Masaki Yoshida and Frenchman Tristan Flore also overcame Oceania adversaries.
Masaki Yoshida defeated New Zealand’s Dean Shu (11-5, 11-1, 11-4, 11-5); Tristan Flore proved too strong for Dominic Huang, like Wade Townsend from Australia (11-5, 12-10, 11-8, 11-4).
Photos: APAC Sport Media