The Indian paddler registered a 3-0 win to move to the next round, will next face Belgium’s Robin Devos in an interesting contest.
India’s rising paddler Manav Thakkar scored a comfortable 3-0 win over Lev Katsman of Russia to make his way into the semifinals of the ITTF Challenge Belarus Open, Minsk. Along with that, he is also assured of winning at least a bronze medal in the ongoing competition in men’s U21 singles category.
Manav managed to notch up a 3-0 win over the Russian in the U-21 men’s singles quarter-finals with a scoreline of 11-5, 11-7, 15-13.
Earlier in the competition, Manav had started off his campaign with a very easy 3-0 win over Russia’s Maksim Grebnev over the sets of 11-6, 11-2, 11-8. In the following round, the Indian had a tough time in containing Aviv Ben-Ari of Israel, who had put up a staunch fight back. However, it was Thakkar who had prevailed with a 3-1, after dominating the last sets by 12-10, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7.
His prowess was on full display again, as he registered a hard-fought 3-2 win against World No. 8 Yuki Matsuyama of Japan in the round of 16 over sets of 9-11, 3-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9. All eyes will now be on how the Indian prodigy performs in the Semis. In February this year, Thakkar had earned the distinction of being the first Indian to be named as the World No. 1 in the U-18 Table Tennis category.
Harmeet Desai Progresses, Sanil bows out of the competition
In the senior category, it was Harmeet Desai who too progressed into the next round of the senior category with another easy 4-0 win over Dennis Klein of Germany. However, it was not a good day for Sanil Shetty, who couldn’t follow his fellow countryman, as he bowed out of the tournament after capitulating for a 0-4 loss to Denis Ivonin of Russia.
Desai will have to face Russia’s Alexey Liventsov in the next round.
Elsewhere, it was disappointing news in the in the men’s doubles category too, as the Indian pair of Harmeet-Sanil failed to get past the challenge of Oleksandr Didukh of Ukraine and Lubomir Pistej of Slovakia in the round of 16. The Indian duo went down 1-4 as the European pair posted another reigning performance.