Manav Thakkar stars as U Mumba thrash Bengaluru Smashers 10-5

Pune, Jul 14 (PTI) Manav Thakkar inspired U Mumba to a splendid 10-5 win over Bengaluru Smashers in the Ultimate Table Tennis here on Friday.

The 23-year-old teamed up with USA’s Lily Zhang to turn the tables on Benglauru Smashers in their mixed doubles contest, beating the pair of Manika Batra and Kirill Gerassimenko 11-10, 10-11, 11-6, as U Mumba came from behind to take the lead.

Later on, Thakkar produced a one-sided contest against Sanil Shetty in a men’s singles match, showcasing his class.

At the start, Bengaluru Smashers captain and world no 58 Gerassimenko provided his team a strong start when he beat world No 18 Aruna Quadri from Nigeria 11-3 in the first game.

Quadri fought back well in the second game of the men’s singles contest, winning by 11-9 to level terms with Gerassimenko. The Kazakhstan player, however, managed to hold on to his lead and eventually win the third game and give Bengaluru a 2-1 lead after the first match.

Gerassimenko defeated Quadri 11-3, 9-11, 11-8.

In the second match of the night between India star Manika and world No 108 Diya Chitale, the former looked a little rusty but still managed to take the game 11-10. Manika, however, could not match her opponent in the second game wherein Diya managed to impose herself quite well.

The world No 35, however, found rhythm in the third game to win the match 11-10, 7-11, 11-6 and give Bengaluru Smashers a 4-2 lead.

In the third match, the mixed doubles pair of Thakkar and Lily Zhang proved to be superior against the Bengaluru Smashers’ pair of Gerassimenko and Manika, beating them in the first game 11-10 but losing a second one closely 10-11, only to bounce back and win the third game 11-6.

The outcome of the contest left the score at 5-4, with two star-studded teams hitting their strides after a scratchy start to the second night of the fourth season of UTT.

In the fourth match, U Mumba’s 101-ranked Thakkar began with a 11-8 win against the left-handed Sanil Shetty, ranked 195.

Thakkar, more dominating among the two, won the second game 11-3 before sealing the contest by taking the third game 11-7.

Thakkar’s win over Shetty also put U Mumba ahead by 7-5 against Benglauru Smashers. The final match of the night was a women’s singles match between the world No 27 from the USA, Zhang and the 41st-ranked Poland player from Benglauru Smashers, Natalia Bajor.

Zhang stormed to an 11-6, 11-5, 11-4 win over Bajor.

Source: PTI News


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