G Sathiyan ended his long wait for a national title with a convincing 4-2 victory over nine-time champion Sharat Kamal in the 82nd National Table Tennis Championships here on Tuesday.
Satian had missed his missed chances against Sharat in the Cuttack final a few years ago. This victory put Sharat, the current number 32 in the world, on a high pedestal.
He was a different satian on Tuesday. Such was Sharat, who was not in his usual state, as he lost momentum in the fifth game of the men’s singles final.
“The third time I was lucky, I don’t irritate anymore. A huge weight from my shoulder,” Satian said. Before Cuttack, he had missed out on Pondicherry (2014) and Hyderabad (2015). Tuesday’s victory also helped him bring home Rs .2.50 nail polish as a reward.
By leading 2-0, Satian made his intentions strong and clear. But he knows that his experienced opponent can change the course of the match in minutes. And Sharat really struck a blow, taking the next two games.
But, as is often seen, Sharat had problems with not being able to land the ball. Turning these moments in his favor, Satian nailed him again and increased the lead to 3-2.
As if on cue, Satian supported his headhand blocks and forehands, pushing Sharat on his back as hard as he could. Sharat allowed Satian to take control of the match slowly but surely.
It is equally important to give full credit to Satian, the new champion, who made his way up the ladder with a lot of hard work.
“In the end, it was a good match and he deserved to win,” said the genius Sharat.
He took the loss of lack of concentration in the fifth game after leading 8-6. “Two key mistakes cost me dearly at this stage. But Satian let me in third place to come back. These are part of the game. I’m happy for him, “he added.
As Sharat gets older, he still doesn’t give up chasing his tenth title. “I will definitely come back strong and strive for it,” he said.
Final: G Sathiyan (PSPB) bt A Sharath Kamal (PSPB) 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8.
Semifinals: A Sharath Kamal bt Manav Thakkar (PSPB) 11-8, 5-11, 14-12, 11-9, 9-11, 17-15; G. Sathiyan bt SFR Snehit (Telg) 13-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-5.