Sathiyan & Harmeet win crown

As a pair, G. Sathiyan and Harmeet Desai of India won their first international title by bagging the men’s doubles title of the World Table Tennis Contender Tunis here on Saturday, with a 11-9, 4-11, 11-9, 11-6 victory over France’s Emmanuel Lebesson and Alexander Cassin in the final.

After losing the first game, the French pair fought back taking a 5-1 and 9-3 lead to pocket the second game. The third game was close with leads changing hands between the two pairs. However, it was the Sathiyan-Harmeet duo that won it at 11-9. Running up a 4-1 lead in the fourth, the Indians never looked back after taking a 6-5 lead.

“I have reached the final playing with Sharath anna, [Soumyajit] Ghosh and Sanil [Shetty], but I have never won a men’s doubles crown. I am extremely happy. The key factor for our win was the speed,” Sathiyan told The Hindu.

Harmeet, who had won a doubles title with Soumyajit Ghosh in the 2015 Commonwealth Championships, was equally ecstatic.

“Winning with Sathiyan is really special. Since Sathiyan had earlier seen [Emmanuel] Lebesson in the mixed doubles semifinals, we devised certain strategies and it worked well for us,” he said. “We are also trying different [men’s doubles] combinations to prepare for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.”

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