Mavericks, Falcons set up semifinal clash in UTT

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Kolkata, June 28 (IANS) Defending champions Falcons TTC beat RP-SG Mavericks in the last league match of Ultimate Table Tennis here on Thursday to set up a repeat clash in the semifinals.

In the other semifinal, table toppers Dabang Smashers, led by Manika Batra and Gnanasekharan Sathiyan, take on fourth-placed Maharashtra United on Friday.

Falcons TTC, who needed just 3 points to jump ahead of Warriors TTC in the points table, achieved the feat in the third clash of the day itself. India’s Sanil Shetty paired up with Bernadette Szocs to overcome Harmeet Desai and Doo Hoi Kem 2-1 (11-7, 11-1, 5-11) in the mixed doubles encounter.

Germany’s Sabine Winter began the day’s proceedings on a winning note for the Mavericks, taming India’s national champion Sutirtha Mukherjee 3-0 (11-10, 11-2, 11-5).

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Spain’s Alvaro Robles, however, notched up the two points required for the Falcons to equal the Warriors overall tally and make the rest of the matches only of academic interest.

The World No 56 won 2-1 (11-8, 9-11, 11-8) to confirm the fixture for the second semifinal, to be played on Saturday.

England’s Liam Pitchford, the World No 49, maintained his unbeaten run in the second edition of the UTT, fighting back from a set down to upset Sweden’s Mattias Karlsson, the World No 20, 2-1.

Hong’s Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem, however, regained the initiative for Mavericks, outhitting Bernadette Szocs in the first two sets. Szocs pulled one back in the third one to keep the fight for supremacy going

Kou Lei of Ukraine overcame a fired up Sanil Shetty 2-1 to ensure that the Mavericks take the second spot on the table.

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Mouma Das lost the last clash to Matilda Ekholm 0-3, to hand over the psychological edge to the Falcons going into the finals.

–IANS

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