New Delhi: Chennai Lions glided away to a one-sided victory to clinch the Ultimate Table Tennis crown here on Sunday. The Sharath Kamal-spearheaded Lions demolished defending champions Dabang Delhi 8-1 to bring the league to a premature end.
Chennai cantered to the required 8 tie points in the first three matches itself, consigning the final two to the dustbin. The Lions’ foreign imports, Germany’s Petrissa Solja and Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia, proved to be the stars of the grand finale, taming Bernadette Szocs 2-1 and Sathiyan G 3-0 to take a formidable, and clearly unbeatable, lead. Sharath and Petrissa then put up a master class in the Mixed Doubles, collating the last three needed points with utmost ease to clinch the title.
“This is an amazing win. We played near-flawless table tennis and came up with the perfect plan for the final,” Sharath said after the victory. In the opening Men’s Singles, Tiago came up with an inspired performance, walloping the higher-ranked Delhi captain Sathiyan 11-6, 11-7, 11-9.
World No. 71 Tiago showcased an array of shots to leave Sathiyan scampering around the table. Sathiyan struggled to find his rhythm, allowing Tiago to open up a 4-1 lead in the first set. The Portuguese made it 8-3 and then 11-6, to give Chennai the first whiff of a big victory. He won the second set 11-7 and the last one 11-9.
Sharath and Petrissa were in a different league in the mixed Doubles, picking up points almost at will. Sharath played calmly, cutting down on unforced errors to make it easier for the pair.
Sathiyan and Bernadatte simply had no weapons left to fight back into the contest, perhaps still recovering from the thriller two days back. They lost 7-11, 2-11, 3-11 to allow Chennai Lions to
roar in delight.
Results: Chennai Lions bt Dabang Delhi TTC 8-1
Women’s Singles: Petrissa Solja bt Bernadette Szocs 2-1 (11-5, 11-4, 9-11)
Men’s Singles:Tiago Apolonia bt Sathiyan G. 3-0 (11-6, 11-7, 11-9)
Mixed Doubles:Sharath Kamal / Petrissa Solja bt Sathiyan G. / Bernadette Szocs 3-0 (11-7, 11-2, 11-3)