The Indian paddler had recently won the mixed doubles title at the WTT Contender Budapest.

Indian table tennis star Sathiyan Gnanasekaran continued his impressive form, as he began the ITTF Czech International Open with a comfortable victory. This is the second ITTF tournament this month, with several tournaments being cancelled owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Omega Sports Center in Olomouc, Czech Republic is hosting the competition.

On Monday, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran easily saw off the challenge of homeboy Tomas Koldas. The Indian paddler underlined his dominance straight from the onset to begin his campaign with a 4-0 victory. He will face the challenge of Russian Sadi Ismailov in the next round.

After a disappointing debut Olympic campaign in Tokyo, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran is looking to make amends in the remaining competitions this season. The 28-year-old had recently paired up with Manika Batra in the mixed doubles event at the WTT Contender Budapest. The Indian duo gave a fine account of themselves, as they ousted home favourites Dora Madarasz and Nandor Ecseki 3-1 in the final.

Therefore, Gnanasekaran is continuing the winning momentum at the Czech Open. Currently World No. 39, the Indian star is the top seed in the ongoing competition and is the favourite to win the men’s singles title.

Positive day for Indian paddlers

Elsewhere, sixth seed Manav Thakkar of India also began his campaign on a positive note. Thakkar defeated Ukraine’s Viktor Yefimov 4-1 to book his place in the last 16. His forthcoming opponent will be Ali AlKhadrawi of Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, a couple of young Indian table tennis players delivered stunning performances. Jeet Chandra knocked out eighth seed Alexandre Robinot of France 4-2. His men’s doubles partner Snehit Suravajjula came from two games down to deliver an early tournament shock. Suravajjalu showed immense resolve to oust second seed Samuel Walker of England 4-2.

In the women’s singles category, 10th seed Archana Kamath overcame the tough challenge of Czech Marketa Sevcikova. The Indian player was on the right side of a 4-3 scoreline. Another Indian female paddler in action was Sreeja Akula. She picked up a straightforward 4-0 win over Belarusian Katsiaryna Barakov.

Earlier in the day, Archana Kamath had paired up with Manav Thakkar in the mixed doubles category. The pair picked up a 3-1 victory over Hungarians Bernadett Balint and Akos Kishegyi. Sanil Shetty and Reeth Tennison also tasted success in the mixed doubles. The Indians emerged victorious 3-0 over Belarusians Pavel Platonov and Katsiaryna Barakov.

However, there were defeats for some of the Indian players as well. Selena Selvakumar and Jeet Chandra succumbed to a 3-1 loss against the home duo Zdena Blaskova and Tomas Martinko. Mudit Dani also fell to a crushing 4-0 loss against Slovakia’s Adam Klajber in his men’s singles match-up. Sanil Shetty was unable to replicate his mixed doubles success in the singles encounter. A 4-2 defeat to Ukrainian Yevhen Pryshchepa meant he exited the men’s singles in the first round.

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