Pune: Manika Batra continued to hog the limelight in the Ultimate Table Tennis by scalping another higher ranked player at the Balewadi Sports Complex.
Riding on the winning start provided by the 2018 Commonwealth Games double gold medallist, Dabang Smashers T.T.C put it across defending champions Falcons TTC 17-4. They won six of the seven matches in the tie to emerge as the leaders of the Pune leg with 31 points in their kitty.
The outcome of Tuesday’s tie between Warriors TTC and Empowerji Challengers will not have any bearing on Dabang’s position as they have just 7 and 8 points respectively. Dabang captain Gnanasekaran Sathiyan also came up with another sterling display.
He first teamed up with Japanese Sakura Mori to win their mixed doubles 3-0 against Sanil Shetty and Bernadette Szocs before extending his unbeaten run in singles since last season by upstaging Spain’s Alvaro Robles 3-0.
Dabang Smashers TTC lead Falcons TTC 17-4 (Manika Batra bt Matilda Ekholm 2-1 (8-11, 11-10, 11-10); Yoshida Masaki bt Sanil Shetty 3-0 (11-5, 11-4, 11-8); G Sathiyan and Sakura Mori bt Sanil Shetty and Bernadette Szocs 3-0 (11-9, 11-4, 11-4); Yoshida Masaki lost to Liam Pitchford 1-2 (10-11, 9-11, 11-6); Adriana Diaz bt Bernadette Szocs 2-1 (11-9, 11-8, 9-11); G Sathiyan bt Alvaro Robles 3-0 (11-10, 11-6, 11-6); Sakura Mori bt Sutirtha Mukherjee 3-0 (11-3, 11-7, 11-10).