Magdeburg (Germany): Indias premier table tennis players, Soumyajit Ghosh and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran beat the odds to top their respective groups in the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum German Open here in Magdeburg.
Sathiyan had to fight hard for his place in the next rounds. He got the better of Hong Kongs Man Ho Kwan 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 11-3, 8-11, 11-3 first but then had to dig deep to prevail against Romanias Ovidiu Ionescu. He eventually won 13-11, 8-11, 11-8, 3-11, 3-11, 11-8, 14-12. Later in the evening, Sathiyan did one better, upsetting world junior champion Jang Woojin 4-0. He is now just one step away from making it to the main round of this elite tournament.
Soumyajit, ranked No. 93, romped past Chiles Alfonso Olave 4-1 and Quentin Robinot 4-0 to enter the main draw in style. He began his campaign on a losing note against, going down to Olave 5-11 in the opening game. But he came back strongly to win the next four (11-5, 13-11, 11-5, 11-7) for an impressive victory. He was much more assured against 64-ranked Robinot, winning 11-5, 13-11, 11-5, 11-7.
Indias other top players, Sharath Kamal Achanta and Harmeet Desai, however, bowed out of the tournament after losing their respective second game.