19 May 2018

Members of the successful squad that won the Men’s Team title at the recent Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the Indian partnership formed by Sathiyan Gnansekaran and Sanil Shetty duly progressed to the final of the Men’s Doubles event at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Thailand Open in Bangkok, following success on Saturday 19th May.

The progress was as status predicted; the duo commenced matters as the top seeds; conversely the appearance in the title deciding contest for the German combination of Tobias Hippler and Kilian Ort was not to be anticipated.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

Not seeded, the journey for Tobias Hippler and Kilian Ort started in the qualification tournament; a place in the quarter-finals booked, on the penultimate day of action they progressed from strength to strength.

In a closely contested five games encounter, they beat the French pairing of Irvin Bertrand and Andrea Landrieu, likewise qualifiers, before ousting Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Kenta Tazoe, the no.2 seeds (9-11, 14-12, 11-9, 11-7).

Most certainly it was a win of note, especially when the pedigree of the left handed Masataka Morizono is taken into consideration. Partnering Yuya Oshima, twice he has won the Men’s Doubles title at the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals; last year the pair finished in runners up spot at the Liebherr 2017 World Championships, whilst earlier this year he partnered Mima Ito to Mixed Doubles gold at the Japanese National Championships.

Success against expectations for Tobias Hippler and Kilian Ort; for Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Sanil Shetty it was very much according to expectations.

At the quarter-final stage they beat Malaysian qualifiers Muhamad Ashraf Haiqal and Lee Chee Feng (11-5, 11-8, 11-8), prior to overcoming colleagues Harmeet Desai and Manav Vikash Thakkar, the no.3 seeds (11-7, 5-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-3).

The finals are scheduled to start at 4.00 pm (local time) on Sunday 20th May; the Men’s Doubles final is last on the agenda.

Challenge Series 2018 Thailand Open Sathiyan Gnanasekaran Tobias Hippler Sanil Shetty Kilian Ort

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