G. Sathiyan, the top seed, bagged his third international men’s singles title with a (4-0) 11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 14-12 win over Yevhen Pryschchepa of Ukraine in the final of the Czech International table tennis tournament on Wednesday. Earlier in the semifinals, Sathiyan’s opponent Truls Moregard of Sweden conceded in the third game citing back pain.
After the early loss in the round of 16 at the WTT Contender tournament in Budapest recently, the triumph here must have come as a huge morale booster for Sathiyan.
The 28-year-old, world No. 39, was at his best throughout the final. His backhand blocks, forehand and backhand counters during long rallies, and sidespin serves provided him with the breakthrough when he needed it most.
Yevhen, the fourth seed, with a world ranking of 111, started in a tepid manner but got into the groove pretty quickly with his fierce forehand top-spin drives. In fact, the 36-year-old had four game points in the fourth game, but Sathiyan saved them all.
Last week, Sathiyan and Manika Batra won the mixed doubles title at the WTT Contender in Budapest.
Men: Final: G. Sathiyan bt Yevhen Pryschchepa (Ukr) 11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 14-12; Semifinal: Sathiyan bt Truls Moregard (Swe) 11-4, 11-8, 8-2 (concd.).
Women: Final: Xiaoxin Yang (Mon) bt Mariia Tailakova (Rus) 13-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-9.