Pune: India’s young paddlers Manav Thakkar and Ayhika Mukherjee created a big flutter at the Balewadi Sports Complex, stunning much higher-ranked players in Ultimate Table Tennis on Friday.
In the end, RP-SG Mavericks proved to be the superior side of the day, beating last year’s finalists Empowerji Challengers 5-2. They picked up 13 points in the process while yielding just 8 in the seven-match encounter.
Ayhika began the march for the Mavericks, upsetting World No. 20 Lee Ho Ching and giving them an unexpected 2-1 lead; but India’s teen sensation Thakkar, who is also the Under-18 World No. 2, sprung a turnaround for Challengers by shocking World No. 33 Kou Lei.
Ranked 104 spots below her opponent from Hong Kong, Ayhika overcame her first game loss to win 2-1 (4-11, 11-2, 11-5.
Results: RP-SG Mavericks bt Empowerji Challengers 13-8 (Ayhika Mukherjee bt Lee Ho Ching 2-1 (4-11, 11-2, 11-5); Kou Lei lost to Manav Thakkar 1-2 (4-11, 7-11, 11-10); Harmeet Desai and Doo Hoi Kem bt Arjun Ghosh and Lee Ho Ching 2-1 (11-9, 11-8, 10-11); Mattias Karlsson bt Simon Gauzy 2-1 (8-11, 11-7, 11-7); Doo Hoi Kem bt Georgina Pota 2-1 (11-1, 11-8, 6-11); Harmeet Desai lost to Tiago Apolonia 1-2 (11-8, 6-11, 10-11); Sabine Winter bt Divya Deshpande 3-0 (11-8, 11-9, 11-5).