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Dramatic semi-final conclusion, Singapore and England maintain nerve

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

Gao Ning and Yu Mengyu, the highest seeds, flew the flag for Singapore; they beat Sharath Kamal Achanta and Mouma Das in 5 video games (11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7), earlier than England’s Liam Pitchford and Tin-Tin Ho, the no.Four seeds, upset the order of benefit to beat Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra, the no.2 seeds (11-Eight, 12-10, 5-11, Eight-11, 15-13).

There was no place for the faint hearted; Liam Pitchford and Tin-Tin Ho trailed Eight-10 within the second recreation, earlier than profitable 4 factors in a row to ascertain a two video games to nil lead. In the fourth they went forward Four-1, the Indian duo known as “Time Out”, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra recovered however at 10-7 within the deciding fifth recreation England held three match factors.

Incredibly as nerves jangled, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra received the subsequent 4 factors; the strain of the event was mirrored by the response of Marcus Sjöberg, the England nationwide coach sitting courtside, when the Indian duo drew degree at 10-all, the pressure with which he thumped the adjoining chair virtually created a gap within the seat, or damaged his hand!

A full home within the Oxenford Studies was captivated, the English pair saved yet one more match level; then spurned a chance earlier than on their general fifth match level leaping for pleasure.

“We made a good start. Manika’s style is strange, the long pimples on the backhand, so we tried to keep away from that side; Sathiyan is safe, for us it was case of top spin the first ball on the table and then take things from there. Losing three match points from 10-7 in the fifth, it was a case of keep going and play our game. Tomorrow, the final; we were silver medallists in Glasgow four years ago, so we take that with us, we keep fighting, a final who knows what may happen.” Liam Pitchford

“I think when I played towards Manika it helped that I use short pimples on my forehand so there was not much top spin on the ball; that made it difficult for her.” Tin-Tin Ho

Drama, equally the success gained by Gao Ning and Yu Mengyu over Sharath Kamal Achanta and Mouma Das, within the match that began the day, was a tense affair. It was a contest that hinged on the standard of the service and the standard of the obtain; rallies have been few and far between; the pivotal stage of the match got here within the fourth recreation with the Singaporeans behind two video games to 1 and trailing Three-Four. Gao Ning signalled “Time Out”, the recommendation from Liu Jiayi, the nationwide coach, labored to perfection.

“I told Gao Ning to return service with top spin and use his forehand; Achanta was very strong from the forehand so we had to make the changes.” Liu Jiayi

“In the second game Mouma was reading our services well, we needed to make changes; in the fourth game we made the changes. I think from the start we were slightly the better pair.” Gao Ning

The bronze medal and gold medal matches are scheduled for Sunday 15th April, the bronze match at 9.30am, the gold contest at 10.15 am.

The publish Dramatic semi-final conclusion, Singapore and England maintain nerve appeared first on International Table Tennis Federation.

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