Grünwettersbach's new signing Sathiyan Gnanasekaran won the second edition of the Indian professional league 'Ultimate Table Tennis' with his team last Sunday. In the final, his Dabang Smashers T.T.C. prevailed 11-7 against the Falcons TTC. Bergneustadt's Alvaro Robles takes the second place.
With duel between the Dabang Smashers T.T.C. and the Falcons TTC, the second season of the Indian professional league 'Ultimate Table Tennis', which was held for the first time last year, has come to an end. On Sunday, the Smashers around their captain Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, who signed with ASV Grünwettersbach for the new season, secured the title in a thrilling final. The team of the 25-year-old Indian prevailed 11-7 and earned a prize money of total 126,000 Euro converted.
Already in the main round, consisting of five matches for the six mixed teams each, Gnanasekaran and Co. had proven superior and qualified for the semi-finals as leader of the table. In the first semi-final, the Smashers met Maharashtra United who qualified for the semi-final as the fourth team and looked like a sure winner just before the end of the match.
In the penultimate single, Düsseldorf's Swede Kristian Karlsson gave Maharashtra a 3-0 win over Gnanasekaran to take the overall lead of 10-8. But the Puerto Rican Adriana Diaz eventually caused the tight 11-10 success of the Smashers with a three-set victory against Madhurika Patkar. Also the second semi-final, in which the Falcons of Bergneustadts Alvaro Robles faced the RP-SG-Mavericks of the German national Sabine Winter and the former Grenzau player Kou Lei, was decided only in the last singles.
In the final, however, Gnanasekaran seemed to have recovered well from the clear semi-final defeat against Karlsson, adding a total of four points to his Smashers' triumph. First, the ASV player won at the side of the Japanese Sakura Mori in mixed doubles against Sanil Shetty and Bernadette Szöcs 2-1 and finally scored the deciding point against Robles (2-1).
Less successful than Gnanasekaran and Robles was Simon Gauzy's first involvement in India's new league. After mixed personal performances and only one team success, Ochsenhausen's Frenchman missed the semi-finals with the Empowerij Challengers clearly, ranking sixth in the table. India's top star Kamal Achanta was not granted to enter the round of the top four teams either. With the Warriors T.T.C., the Düsseldorf player ended up only in fifth place after the main round.
The final at a glance
Dabang Smashers T.T.C. – Falcons TTC 11-7
Manika Batra – Matilda Ekholm 3-0 (11-8, 11-10, 11-9)
Masaki Yoshida – Sanin Shetty 2-1 (11-8, 11-8, 10-11)
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran/Sakura Mori – Sanil Shetty/Bernadette Szöcs 2-1 (11-6, 11-7, 3-11)
Cedric Nuytinck – Liam Pitchford 1-2 (9-11, 11-5, 7-11)
Adriana Diaz – Bernadette Szöcs 1-2 (5-11, 9-11, 11-6)
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran – Alvaro Robles 2-1 (11-6, 9-11, 11-8)
Header photo: Ultimate Table Tennis