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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Reeth powers Goa Challengers into UTT Season 4 final


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Pune: In-form T Reeth Rishya produced a stunning 2-1 victory against reigning national champion Sreeja Akula in the decider to guide Goa Challengers into the final of UTT Season 4 at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge-Balewadi here on Friday night.

The Goa franchise defeated Dabang Delhi TTC 8-7 in a thrilling semi-final to reach the final of Season 4. Reeth made quick moves at the start of the match against Sreeja and used her powerful shots to win the first game by 11-4. The Commonwealth Games gold medallist came back with immaculate control to clinch the second game 11-6 and forced the match into the decider. The last game went in the favour of the Chennai-based paddler by 11-8.

The franchise-based league is promoted by Niraj Bajaj and Vita Dani under the auspices of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI).

Earlier, Sathiyan beat Harmeet 2-1 in the first match (Men’s Singles) of the tie to give Dabang Delhi TTC a perfect start.

The Asian Games medallist was swift in his movements early on and used both flanks to dominate the game. Harmeet stood no chance as his compatriot was at his aggressive best. Sathiyan won the first game 11-3 to take the lead in the match.

The second game saw a tough battle between both the star paddlers as they fought for every point. However, in the end, Sathiyan held his nerve and clinched the game 11-9 with ferocious forehand shots. Harmeet took one back when he won the third game by 11-8.

In the second match (Women’s Singles), Suthasini Sawettabut defeated Ayhika Mukherjee 2-1 to bring the Challengers back into the tie.

The Thai paddler showed immaculate control in the first game to win it by 11-5 before Ayhika came roaring back to clinch the following game 11-8 with her top-notch shots. The decider was a one-sided affair as Suthasini won it by 11-3 to register a remarkable victory.

Sathiyan and Barbora Balazova played with immaculate coordination and won the third match (Mixed Doubles) of the tie 2-1 against Harmeet and Suthasini to bring the Delhi franchise back in the lead.

The Goa Challengers pair began the match with a bang as they took the first game by 11-8. However, Sathiyan and Barbora were quick to react in the second to win through a golden point before pocketing the decider by a golden point as well.

World Championships silver medallist Alvaro Robles took the tie into the decider with a come-from-behind victory over Jon Persson 2-1 (6-11, 11-10, 11-7) in the fourth match (Men’s Singles).

All the Season 4 ties start at 7.30 PM.


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