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.

–IANS

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