Sathiyan Gnanasekaran ended his long wait for a national title with a 4-2 win over nine-time champion Sharath Kamal in the 82nd National Table Tennis Championships.
Playing his fourth final in seven years, Sathiyan ended the jinx by beating nine-time winner Sharath Kamal 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8 The two Chennai-based players, ranked in the world’s top-50 bracket, produced some exciting times.
Despite medals in Asiad & CWG, the National crown has always eluded Sathiyan, who made numerous changes be it in his racquet, the rubber on it, & skill set in the last 1 yr bagged his maiden National Championship title on Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021, .
On his part, Sathiyan was understandably more relieved than excited. “The monkey is off my back. Winning the National title means a lot to me, having come so close in the past. My coach S. Raman (a four-time National champion) always maintained that winning the National title was no big deal if we came prepared for the challenges. All these years, we prepared for the Pro Tour and came to the Nationals and failed to make the right adjustments. This year, I must say, our preparations paid off.”
Even on Tuesday, Sharath was gracious in acknowledging the new champion. “Sathiyan deserved to win this every bit. He played far better while I was lucky to win the third game. Though I did have my chances but could not take them. No excuses. I am very happy for Sathiyan.”
Sathiyan received Rs. 2.50 lakh besides a trophy while Sharath collected Rs. 1.65 lakh and the runner-up trophy.
TNTTA congratulates Sathiyan G for his maiden success...
Final: G. Sathiyan (Pet) bt A. Sharath Kamal (Pet) 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8; Semi-finals: Sharath bt Manav Thakkar (Pet) 11-8, 5-11, 14-12, 11-9, 9-11, 17-15; Sathiyan bt S. F. R. Snehit (Telg) 13-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-5.