Sat, 01 Apr 2023

Singapore, March 12 (ANI): India's challenge in the men's singles at the Singapore Smash 2023 ended in the first round after Commonwealth Games champion Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran suffered defeat in their respective matches at the Singapore Sports Hub on Saturday.

Sharath Kamal, who has dropped down two places to be world No. 51 in the latest table tennis rankings, lost to 16-year-old Quek Izaac of Singapore 3-0 (11-4, 11-6, 12-10) in a match that lasted for 28 minutes.

After losing the first game easily, Sharath Kamal upped the ante to lead world No. 242 Quek Izaac 6-5 in the second game. Sharath Kamal, however, was unable to handle Quek Izaac's ferocity and gave up the next six points to fall behind 2-0.

The 42-year-old Indian lost the round of 64 matche in straight games despite putting in a better effort in the third game.

India's top-ranked men's player at world No. 41 Sathiyan Gnanasekaran fought hard against world No. 17 Jang Woojin of South Korea and took a 2-1 lead and one stage but eventually lost the match 3-2 (11-6,7-11, 15-17, 11-6, 11-5). He will begin his mixed doubles campaign with Manika Batra from the round of 16.

Earlier, Indian table tennis players Manush Shah, Harmeet Desai, Snehit Suravajjula and Manav Thakkar failed to get past the qualifying round in singles. Manav Thakkar and Harmeet Desai, however, will team up for the men's doubles competition which gets underway on Sunday.

The women's singles main draw matches will start on March 12. India's top women's table tennis player Manika Batra, world No. 34, will be in action. (ANI)

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