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Positive start for India in Olomouc

Sunday 22 August

Overall successful, such was the outcome for India on the opening day of play, Saturday 21st August, at the 2021 ITTF Czech International Open in Olomouc.

Most notably in the group stage of the men’s singles event, Sanil Shetty, Snehit Suravajjula and Manush Utpalbhai Shah emerged victorious in their opening matches; the one casualty was Jeet Chandra.

Hard fought but a successful start for Sanil Shetty

Sanil Shetty opened his account with a dull distance five games win against the host nation’s Michal Blinka (5-11, 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7); a testing encounter, for Snehit Suravajjula and Manush Utpalbhai Shah, like was less exacting.

Both recorded straight games victories. Snehit Suravajjula beat Austria’s Michel Seper (11-4, 11-3, 11-7), Manush Utpalbhai Shah overcame the Adam Stalzer, like Michal Blinka from the Czech Republic (11-9, 11-6, 11-6).

Alas for Jeet Chandra it was agony; he experienced defeat at the hands of Austria’s Liu Zhenlong (15-13, 11-8, 11-13, 8-11, 11-0).

Notable Indian participation in the men’s singles group phase, in the counterpart stage of the women’s singles event, the only Indian player scheduled to play was Reeth Tennison. In fact, she was not required to play. She received a walk-over against Alina Nikitchanka of Belarus.

Similarly, Indian players were in action on the opening day of play in the under 21 women’s singles, the result mixed fortunes.

Not required to compete in the opening round, Archana Girish Kamath booked her third round place by overcoming Sweden’s Matilda Hansson (11-5, 14-12, 11-4); conversely, Selena Selvakumar experienced and opening round defeat at the hands of the Czech Republic’s Linda Zaderova (11-7, 11-8, 10-12, 9-11, 16-14).

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, Manav Vikash Thakkar and Mudit Dani are all seeded and receive direct entries to the men’s singles main draw, the same situation applying to Archana Girish Kamath and Sreeja Akula in the women’s singles.

Play in the main draw commences on Monday 23rd August, proceedings conclude on Wednesday 25th August.

Editor: Ian Marshall

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