With Singapore Smash run, Sharath Kamal remains gold standard of Indian table tennis at 41-ZoomTech News

When the qualifying spherical of the Singapore Smash started final week, Sharath Kamal had informed his household that he can be house on Sunday; three days later. However Sharath was hitting the ball so nicely that he ended up staying again for an additional week as he ran by better-ranked opponents all the way in which to the quarterfinals – a primary in Indian desk tennis historical past.

Why is Sharath’s run such a giant deal? It is as a result of the Singapore Smash is a part of the WTT Grand Smash sequence, which is the head of world desk tennis. It’s the highest degree of competitors on the WTT Tour and attracts the world’s finest gamers. For comparability, it is like a Grand Slam in tennis or an equal to badminton’s All England Open.

At 41, or “Stage 41” as Rohan Bopanna says, Sharath will as soon as once more turn out to be the #1 ranked Indian, break into the highest 40 of the world rankings and enhance his possibilities of making the reduce for the singles competitors on the 2024 Paris Olympics. A fifth look on the Olympics – a feat achieved by no Indian desk tennis participant.

That final line is used very loosely relating to Sharath, who has been the flagbearer of Indian desk tennis during the last 20 years. The stats do all of the speaking –

  • Seven gold medals on the Commonwealth Video games

  • Two-time Asian Video games bronze medallist

  • A ten-time nationwide champion

  • A four-time Olympian

  • Recipient of the Khel Ratna Award

His newest efficiency served to underline this once more. Sharath performed a few of his profession’s best desk tennis in Singapore Sports activities Hub during the last week. He didn’t drop a single recreation in two matches to get previous the qualifiers [the three other Indian men did not progress] and into the principle draw. That just about meant he needed to break his promise of returning house on Sunday.

In 28 minutes, he was accomplished with World #31 Nicolas Burgos and was slated to tackle World #13 Darko Jorgic. This was at all times going to be a tricky one, particularly when he misplaced the primary recreation. The primary time he was trailing in 4 matches.

“I’ve performed him twice earlier than this, and I misplaced each instances. I went into the match considering that no less than let me begin with one set, as a result of final time I misplaced 0-3,” Sharath had informed World Desk Tennis after his win, enjoying the underdog card.

With nothing to lose, he went for his pictures within the subsequent video games and it paid off. What adopted was the upset of the event – the world #88 had simply surprised the world #13. Up subsequent was one more stiff problem, this time within the type of Egypt’s Omar Assar within the spherical of 16.

You’d think about that the world #22 would have put up a combat, however Sharath was working on an entire totally different degree. He wanted 24 minutes to mark his quickest win in the principle draw and transfer into the quarterfinals – uncharted territory for Indian desk tennis. “I did not anticipate a 3-0 win, thought it could be a lot nearer,” Sharath would say after the match, as soon as once more modestly brushing away simply how good he was on the desk.

His riveting run ended on Friday as he was undone by World #6 Felix Lebrun. Sharath, although, left the Singapore Sports activities Hub together with his head held excessive: this was his finest displaying at a WTT event shortly and it was additionally the primary time he bought previous the primary spherical in three appearances on the event.

This was the identical Sharath, not sure of creating a deep run on the event, who informed his household he can be house in 4 days. The identical Sharath who had informed his household almost a decade in the past that he would cling up his boots. The identical Sharath, who at 38, questioned if his physique would maintain up for one more yr when the Tokyo Olympics had been postponed.

That very same Sharath is now 4 months away from probably competing within the males’s crew and singles occasion on the Paris Olympics. That very same Sharath is now again to being India’s #1. That very same Sharath continues to be the gold commonplace of Indian desk tennis.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top