Ultimate Table Tennis 2023: Bengaluru smash Goa Challengers, stay alive in semi-final race

Rising star Jeet Chandra handed a shocking 2-1 defeat to India's top-ranked men's singles paddler Harmeet Desai as Bengaluru Smashers beat Goa Challengers 9-6 in IndianOil Ultimate Table Tennis Season 4 at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge-Balewadi in Pune on Tuesday. 

However, despite losing the tie, the Goa franchise qualified for the semi-finals with 36 points. Bengaluru Smashers, who now have 35 points, will hope for favourable results in the remaining ties of Season 4.  

Jeet made a positive start as he startled the Surat-based paddler with his firepower to win the first game 11-7 and carried forward the momentum in the following game as well. The Indian paddler used swift movements and immaculate control to take the second game with the same scoreline.

The third game went in the favour of Harmeet through a golden point.

On the other hand, Manika Batra continued her scintillating form as she defeated T Reeth Rishya, who recently stunned World No. 28 Lily Zhang, 3-0 to register her fourth women's singles victory in season 4, powered by DafaNews, for Bengaluru Smashers.

Photo Courtesy - Ultimate Table Tennis

India's highest-ranked paddler went into attacking mode from the first serve and quickly took a big lead. She then wrapped up the game by 11-4 with a precise backhand. Manika used her reach and attacking powers to win the second game 11-5 and carried forward her momentum to clinch 11-7 victory in the third game as well.

Earlier, Bengaluru Smashers' Kirill Gerassimenko defeated the former World Championships silver medallist Alvaro Robles 2-1 in an exciting contest. 

Robles began the first game brilliantly and showed immaculate precision to win it by 11-3 before the Kazak paddler made a strong comeback and won the second game 11-8 to force the match into the decider. Kirill was at his very best in the third game as he played ferocious forehands on both flanks to clinch the decider 11-5 and the match. 

In the third match (Mixed doubles) of the tie, Robles and Reeth defeated Manika and Kirill 2-1 to keep the Goa franchise alive in Season 4. The pair of Bengaluru Smashers took the first game 11-7 before Robles and Reeth came back to win the next two games 11-8 and 11-9.

In the last match of the tie, Goa Challengers' Suthasini Sawettabut beat Natalia Bajor 2-1 (7-11, 11-5, 11-7) to secure her franchise's place in the knockout stage of the league.

All the Season 4, powered by DafaNews, ties start at 7.30 PM with broadcast on Sports 18 and streamed on JioCinema. The tickets are available on BookMyShow.

Tie Result:
Goa Challengers 6-9 Bengaluru Smashers 

Alvaro Robles 1-2 Kirill Gerassimenko (11-3, 8-11, 5-11)
Reeth Tennison 0-3 Manika Batra (5-11, 5-11, 7-11)
Alvaro/Reeth 2-1 Kirill/Manika (7-11, 11-8, 11-9)
Harmeet Desai 1-2 Jeet Chandra (7-11, 7-11, 11-10)
Suthasini Sawettabut 2-1 Natalia Bajor (7-11, 11-5, 11-7)

Ultimate Table Tennis Media Release

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