by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
The crucial contest in the concluding series was that between Maharashtra United and Empowerji Challengers; in realistic terms, the victor in that engagement would gain a top four place, for the loser it was the end of the road.
A total of seven matches, each match three games, overall 21 points at stake: prior to the start of play Maharashtra United owned 38 points, Warriors one less 37 points. Any margin of victory was acceptable to gain a top four finish. If Warriors won 11-10; then the points total would equal but they would gain the higher position by virtue of winning the contest between the two teams.
Warriors fielded Chuang Chih-Yuan, Sofia Polcanova and Hana Matelova alongside Sharath Kamal Achanta and Pooja Sahasrabudhe; notably there was no place for Quadri Aruna. Maharashtra United included Kristian Karlsson, João Monteiro, Elizabeta Samara and Lily Zhang; the host nation representatives were Amalraj Anthony and Madhurika Patkar.
Maharashtra United established an 8-7 lead with Sharath Kamal Achanta due to face Kristian Karlsson; if the host nation’s top player could clinch one game it was potentially sufficient. In the concluding match, colleague Hana Matelova was the favourite against Madhurika Patkar, the favourite for a three-nil win.
In the opening game, Sharath Kamal Achanta led 10-5, he lost the next five points and then the “golden point”; he was mentally shattered. He lost the second comfortably. In the third game he recovered but Kristian Karlsson was not to be denied; he recorded a three games to nil victory (11-10, 11-3, 11-8); it gave Maharashtra United the necessary eleven points needed for victory and a semi-final place.
Hana Matelova duly beat Madhurika Patkar (11-9, 11-5, 11-5) but it was all too much, too late.
One day earlier Dabang Smashers, represented by Masaki Yoshida, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, Sakura Mori and Adriana Diaz alongside Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra had posted a 15-6 win over the Empowerji Challengers outfit hampered by the absence of the injured Tiago Apolonia. They fielded Simon Gauzy, Lee Ho Ching and Georgina Pota, with the host nation players being Manav Thakkar, Arjun Ghosh and Divya Deshpande.
In the contest to conclude matters Falcons TTC beat RP-SG Mavericks 11-10. Falcons selected Liam Pitchford, Alvaro Robles, Matilda Ekholm and Bernadette Szocs alongside Harmeet Desai and Mouma Das. The RP-SG Mavericks line-up read Mattias Karlsson, Kou Lei, Doo Hoi Kem and Sabine Winter with the Indian representatives being Harmeet Desai and Mouma Das.
At the semi-final stage on Friday 29th June, Dabang Smashers meet Maharashtra United, one day later RP-SG Mavericks oppose Falcons TTC.
The final will be played on Sunday 1st July.
Final League Positions: 1. Dabang Smasher 63pts 2. RP-SG Mavericks 58pts 3. Falcons TTC 56pts 4. Maharashta United 49pts 5. Warriors TTC 47pts 6. Empowerji Challengers 42pts
CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis: Latest News
CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis: Thursday 14th June – Falcons TTC v Maharashtra United
CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis: Friday 15th June – RP-SG Mavericks v Empowerji Challengers
CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis: Saturday 16th June – Dabang Smashers TTC v Warriors TTC
CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis: Sunday 17th June – RP-SG Mavericks v Maharashtra United
CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis: Monday 18th June – Dabang Smashers TTC v Falcons TTC
CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis: Tuesday 19th June – Warriors TTC v Empowerji Challengers
CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis: Wednesday 20th June – Dabang Smashers v RP-SG Mavericks
CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis: Thursday 21st June – Empowerji Challengers v Maharashtra United
CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis: Friday 22nd June – Warriors TTC v Falcons TTC
CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis: Saturday 23rd June – Maharashtra United v Dabang Smashers
CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis: Sunday 24th June – Empowerji Challengers v Falcons TTC
CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis: Monday 25th June – RP-SG Mavericks v Warriors TTC
CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis: Tuesday 26th June – Dabang Smashers TTC v Empowerji Challengers
CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis: Wednesday 27th June – Warriors TTC v Maharashtra United
CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis: Thursday 28th June – Falcons v RP-SG Mavericks