UTT: Amalraj, Elizabeta boost Maharashtra United

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New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) Indias Anthony Amalraj and Romanias Elizabeta Samara posted nerve-wracking victories in their respective Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) matches here on Saturday to lift Maharashtra United from the bottom of the table to the second position.

Down 2-7 in the tie against table toppers Dabang Smashers, captain Joao Monteiro of Portugal led the fightback, scoring an upset 2-1 win over World No 27 Yoshida Masaki.

Amalraj then rode on the momentum to pull off a sensational 3-0 win over Belgium’s Cedric Nuytinck.

Samara, however, was the star performer for United, posting victories in both her singles matches. The World No 19 first overcame 17-year-old Adriana Diaz of Puerto Rico 2-1 and then beat local favourite Manika Batra of India 3-0 to give United a well-deserved 12-9 win.

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Earlier, cheered on by a houseful crowd, World No 28 Mori set the ball rolling for the Smashers, trouncing India’s Madhurika Patkar 3-0 in a one-sided contest.

Sathiyan then picked up a crucial point against a much higher-ranked Kristian Karlsson and set up a 3-0 victory in the mixed doubles match along with Mori.

Playing the last match of the day, with the team scores tied 9-9, Manika started confidently but fumbled during crucial points to lose her way. She lost the first game on golden point and simply couldn’t find her way back into the contest.



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