Former national champion and third seed Sanil Shetty survived a scare even as top men’s singles stars including top seed G Sathiyan and second seed Sharath Kamal registered comfortable victories to advance to the third round of the table tennis competition in the 36th National Games.
The individual competition at the PDDU Indoor Stadium took off with local mixed doubles pair of Manav Thakkar and Filzah Fatema Kadri upsetting top seeds Sanil Shetty and Reethrishya Tennison of Maharashtra to reach the quarter-finals.
In fact, five of the eight seeds in the mixed doubles draw could not make it to the quarter final stage.
Shetty could have suffered a similar fate in the men’s singles competition as he was pushed to the brink by Uttar Pradesh’s Divyansh Srivastava. The left-hander from Maharashtra clearly struggled for rhythm but kept his nerves at 9-9 to clinch two quick points in the decider to win 11-5, 7-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9.
In other matches, Sathiyan packed off Wesley Do Roserio of Haryana 13-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 while Sharath converted his fifth match point to beat Maharashtra’s Ravindra Kotiyan 11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 17-15.
Local hopes Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar also began their campaigns with facile victories in the second round. All the seeds…