Engineer drives Indian duo along right lines
A doubles partnership, in order to be successful it is essential to create opportunities for your partner, to engineer openings.
It would appear that India has the perfect answer; Sathiyan Gnanasekaran has a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering; on the morning of Thursday 8th March, his qualifications proved invaluable as he partnered colleague, Sharath Kamal Achanta to a shock opening round Men’s Doubles win at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open in Doha.
Required to negotiate the qualification tournament, the Indian duo accounted for Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson and Mattias Karlsson, the no.5 seed and runners up one year ago.
However, one wondered if they had blown their chances; they won the first two games before losing the next two as the Swedes mounted a revival. The revival was thwarted, a good start in the decider and the Indian duo never looked back (11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 11-4).
“I have played against them twice before, once with Gustavo Tsuboi and once with Alexey Liventsov; both times we lost three-two. It’s the first time I’ve played them when partnering Sathiyan; so that meant we were also new to them. We made a good start; we were positive. We led 8-6 in the third game after winning the first two; they took a “Time Out”, they came back to win 11-8. They started to be really aggressive, we let them in; we gave them changes.” Sharath Kamal Achanta
“I had a good feeling for the ball today; my short game was good and my forehand top spin strong; I was able to create many options. I think that complemented Sharath.” Sathiyan Gnanasekaran
Defeat for one seeded pairing and there were defeats for three more. Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting, the top seeds, suffered at the hands of China’s Fang Bo and Lin Gaoyuan (11-4, 11-6, 14-16, 16-14). Meanwhile, the all Japanese contest witnessed defeat for Tomokazu Harimoto and Masataka Morizono, the no.4 seeds. They lost to Jun Mizutani and Yuya Oshima (11-7, 11-9, 11-7).
Similarly it was defeat for the host nation’s Mohammed Abdulwahhab and Abdulrahman Al-Naggar, the no.8 seeds but the outcome was no great upset; they lost to Austria’s Robert Gardos and Daniel Habesohn, the 2013 European champions (11-4, 11-4, 11-7).
Defeat for the 2013 European champions; there was also defeat for the pair crowned World champions in that year. Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An and Chuang Chih-Yuan experienced defeat at the hands of Korea’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, the no.7 seeds (11-7, 11-5, 11-8).
Problems for the World champions of five years ago but not for the current holders of that title; China’s Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin, the no.2 seeds, they beat Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang and Ng Pak Nam but they were tested, they needed the full five games to secure victory (11-8, 10-12, 10-12, 11-7, 11-5).
Success for second seeds, there was also success for the no.3 seeds; the combination of Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Denmark’s Jonathan Groth ended the hopes of the combination formed by Brazil’s Hugo Calderano and Simon Gauzy of France (11-4, 11-7, 11-9).
The quarter-final matches will be played later in the day.