Mon, 25 Sep 2023

Chengdu [China], October 4 (ANI): Indian men's table tennis team's three-match unbeaten run came to end after a defeat to France in their fourth Group 2 match on Tuesday.

India was demolished by France by 3-0. After this loss, India's chances of qualifying for the Round of 16 have taken a hit. They are now dependent on activities and ups and downs in other groups to qualify further.

Manav Thakkar started off the proceedings for India and he was up against Lebrun Alexis. His French opponent did not face a lot of problems in warding off the Indian challenge within three straight sets by 6-11, 8-11, 8-11. Manav did offer some competitiveness in the final two sets but it was not enough to win the game.

With this, India was trailing by 0-1 in the match.

In the next match, India's best-ranked player Sathiyan Gnanasekaran was up next, with hopes of making things even for India. Lebrun Felix was his opponent. Gnanasekaran looked off colour for the most part and lost the game within straight three sets by 2-11, 4-11, 6-11.

India were in serious trouble, trailing 0-2 in the match. They needed a win to bounce back.

Harmeet Desai was up next for India in this crucial game, locking horns against Rolland Jules. Desai was off to a great start, winning the first set by 13-11. However, his opponent once again swung things in favour of France by winning the next game by 11-13. Desai took the lead after 11-7 win in the third set. But the Indian lost the final two sets by 8-11, 7-11 and lost the game by 2-3.

France was able to clean sweep Team India and their spot in Round of 16 is certain.

Before this match, the Indian men's team had recorded wins against Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Germany.

The World Team Table Tennis Championships started in China on September 30 and will go on till October 9. (ANI)

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