World TT C'ships: Indian men enter pre-quarterfinals, to face China


Manav Vikash Thakkar | Photo: PTI

Chengdu: The Indian men's team advanced to the pre-quarterfinals despite losing 0-3 to France at the World Table Tennis Championship here on Tuesday.

The Indians escaped elimination by the skin of their teeth, entering the round of 16 as one of the higher-ranked best-placed third teams in the group stages.

As a change of strategy, India opened with Manav Thakkar against Alexis Lebrun, ranked No. 30 in the world, and the 0-3 (6-11, 8-11, 8-11) loss straightaway pushed them on the back foot.

World number 37 G Sathiyan took on Felix Lebrun in the second tie. But the 86th-ranked Frenchman punched way above his weight to pummel the Indian in straight games to win 11-4, 11-2, 11-6 and put his side 2-0 up.

Harmeet Desai too failed to withstand the pressure despite putting up a fight against Jules Rolland, who won 11-13, 13-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7 in the gripping third rubber to give France the top-of-the-table position in their group, despite a three-way tie.

With three teams -- France, Germany and India -- finishing on same points (7) with three wins and one loss each, France pitch-forked itself to the top position on a head-to-head win over India.

However, India's 0-3 loss enabled Germany, who beat France 3-1 on Monday, to take the second spot in the group.

The two-higher ranked teams that finished third in their groups filled the two vacant slots in the top 16-team knockout.

India qualified for the pre-quarterfinals as the other team in contention for the spot -- Romania -- is ranked lower in the world standings.

India will face top seeds China first up in the pre-quarterfinals.

The Indian women's team has also made it through to the round of 16.

PTI

Add Comment
Related Topics

Get daily updates from Mathrubhumi.com

Youtube
Telegram
Disclaimer: Kindly avoid objectionable, derogatory, unlawful and lewd comments, while responding to reports. Such comments are punishable under cyber laws. Please keep away from personal attacks. The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of readers and not that of Mathrubhumi.