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Snehit Suravajjula stars in Olomouc

Tuesday 24 August

Progress to the second round of the men’s singles event at the 2021 ITTF Czech International Open in Olomouc for India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manav Vikash Thakkar, following success on Monday 23rd August, was as their status advised.

However, the Indian player to attract the attention was Snehit Suravajjula, having successfully negotiated the qualification phase.


Snehit Suravajjula in outstanding form

In the men’s singles opening round Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the top seed, beat the host nation’s Tomas Koldas (11-4, 11-2, 11-6, 11-5), Manav Vikash Thakkar, the no.6 seed, overcame Ukraine’s Viktor Yefimov (11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8).

Wins as expected, for Snehit Suravajjula it was very different, they upset the odds. He caused the biggest surprise of the day. He beat England’s Sam Walker, the no.2 seed (5-11, 3-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-4, 11-8).

Success for India but there were opening round men’s singles defeats. Mudit Dani, the no.13 seed, lost to Slovakia’s Adam Klajber (11-4, 13-11, 12-10, 11-8); Sanil Shetty was beaten by Ukraine’s Yevhen Pryshchepa, the no.4 seed, (12-10,9-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 14-12).Jeet Chandra suffered against Frenchman Alexandre Robinot, the no.8 seed (13-11, 11-9, 10-12, 8-11, 11-8, 11-2.

Likewise, there was an opening round reverse for Iran’s Amir Hossein Hodei; conversely for Saudi Arabia’s Ali Alkhadrawi, there was success. Amir Hossein Hodei, the no.10 seed, lost to Frenchman, Bastien Rembert (11-6, 11-4, 11-3, 4-11, 11-7); Ali Alkhadrawi, the no.12 seed, overcame the Czech Republic’s Simon Belik (11-8, 11-1, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9).

Good form from Ali Alkhadrawi, partnering colleague Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi; the duo caused a major opening round men’s doubles surprise. They ousted Slovakia’s Jakub Zelinka and Tibor Spanik, the no.3 seeds (11-7, 11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-8).

A quarter-final place against the odds for the Saudi Arabia duo; for India’s Snehit Suravajjula and Jeet Chandra, alongside Manav Vikash Thakkar and Sanil Shetty it was progress as predicted. Emulating the good men’s singles form, in the opening round  Snehit Suravajjula and Jeet Chandra, the no.7 seeds, beat the Czech Republic’s Simon Belik and Tomas Martinko (11-4, 11-7, 10-12, 11-4); Manav Vikash Thakkar and Sanil Shetty, the no.6 seeds, ended the aspirations of Hungary’s Csaba Andras and Akos Kishegyi (6-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-6).

Progress for India in the men’s singles and men’s doubles events, it was the same in the women’s singles competition but very different in the women’s doubles.

In the women’s singles opening round Archana Girish Kamath accounted for the Czech Republic’s Marketa Sevcikova (11-7, 11-4, 6-11, 11-7, 7-11, 9-11, 12-10); Sreeja Akula, the no.13 seed, overcame Katsiaryna Baravok of Belarus (12-10, 12-10, 11-8, 13-11).

Conversely, in the women’s doubles, Selena Selvakumar and Sreeja Akula lost to Russia’s Valeria Shcherbatykh and Mariia Tailakova, the no.5 seeds (11-5, 11-7, 11-9); Archana Girish Kamath and Reeth Tennison experienced defeat when opposing Sweden’s Linda Bergström and Filipa Bergand, the no.4 seeds (11-6, 11-3, 11-6).

Disappointment for Selena Selvakumar, it was the same in the mixed doubles opening round; partnering Jeet Chandra, it was defeat at the hands of the Czech Republic’s Tomas Martinko and Zdena Blaskova, the no.8 seeds (9-11, 11-3, 13-11, 13-11).

Defeat but there was the reverse side of the coin. Manav Vikash Thakkar and Archana Girish Kamath, the no.2 seeds, overcame Hungary’s Akos Kishegyi and Bernadett Balinti (13-11, 10-12, 11-5, 11-7); somewhat differently, Sanil Shetty and Reeth Tennison upset the order. They accounted for Pavel Platonov and Katsiaryna Baravok, the no.5 seed (11-3, 11-5, 11-6).

Play continues on Tuesday 24th August, the day on which the destination of the mixed doubles title will be decided; the men’s doubles and women’s doubles finalists will be known as well as the men’s singles and women’s singles finalists.

Editor: Ian Marshall

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