TTSL TN – Semi Finals 1 – Green Rockers vs Hindustan King Pongs
Green Rockers were defeated by Hindustan King Pongs, 5-4, to enter the finals of the Table Tennis Super League Tamil Nadu event, held on Saturday, 25 Nov 2017, at Chennai.
S Yashini of Green Rockers, who won the toss and decided to serve first, went up against Swetha Kumaravel. The match started off with Yashini establishing a lead, which was taken over by Swetha through some superb backhand flicks that ended the set in her favor 11-7. The second set went the way of Yashini as she powered through Swetha’s defence, forcing her to make errors that added points to Yashini’s kitty. The third set was a repeat for the first, but only this time Swetha dominated her dominated her opponent, the fourth set had both the paddlers fighting, with sublimes shots that was appreciate by the audience. Swetha reigned victorious over Yashini winning the set 12-10 and with it, the match.
V Abhinav of Green Rockers went up against R Anandaraj of Hindustan Ping Pong. That Abhinav plays with no care of what happens to him, for the sake of the game and that he trusts his instincts on using power has become apparent in the three days that he has been playing, playing against him was the calm, controlled powerhouse of Anandaraj, who played Abhinav’s speed against him and winning the match. The score: 11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9.
Men’s singles, Junior
D Vishwa of Green Rockers faced Arjun K Raju from Hindustan Ping Pong. The first set 11-6 went the way of Vishwa who used the speed of Arjun against him and trapped him into making erroneous plays. Arjun’s insistence on using speed and force lost him the second set against Vishwa, 8-11. The third set was a hard fought one, with neither side wavering and standing strong, but a three point drop from Vishwa due to forced errors on the part of Arjun lost him the set 11-9. The last set had Vishwa run circles around his opponent and winning the set 11-6 and with it the match.
Mixed Doubles, senior
V Abhinav teamed up with S Yashini of Green Rockers to face the team of Anandaraj S and Swetha Kumaravel from Hindustan King Pongs.
Green rockers took the first set 13-11 after a see-saw battle that saw neither side take the lead, the match was over just like through some quick wrist work that saw Anandraj and Swetha commit mistakes. Anandaraj and Swetha destroyed Green Rockers – 11-2. Powerful forehand pushes from Swetha and the ability of Anandaraj to life the ball from two court lengths back saw them sail through the second set. The third set was a return to the scheduled program as both the teams tried to exploit defence flaws. Green Rockers persevered and won the set 11-9. The third set was back in the hands of Swetha and Anandraj who schooled the team from Green Rockers. 11-4. The final set had both the team vying for a 2 point lead. It was down to the wire, with both teams even at 10, the energy of Abhinav let him down, as he made avoidable errors, losing the set 10-12.
S Sharmitha from Green Rockers began her match against M Yazhini by serving a delightful top spin. Sharmitha is the picture of serenity, never losing her cool when Yazhini manages stump her, never losing sight of the goal when she over plays her hand. It is no small wonder that she managed to win her match in three straight sets with the score of: 11-8, 11-3, 11-7.
S Manikandan from Green Rockers went up against his good friend from Hindustan King Pongs, Ashwath Rajkumar. Ashwath took the early lead through his vicious attacks and top spins that left Manikandan frazzled letting Ashwath win the first set 11-8. However, Manikandan jumped back after the break, calmly anticipating the smashes from Ashwath, and replied with blocks and counter spins. Ashwath managed to return every single thing that was thrown at him, but the force of his smashes were too much to control. He committed back-to-back errors that cost him the set. It continued in the third set, with his own speed letting him down. Manikandan won the second, third and fourth set and with it, the game. The score: 11-8, 12-10, 11-8.
Mixed Doubles, Juniors
D Vishwa teamed up with S Sharmita to face off against Arjun K Raju and M Yazhini of Hindustan. Vishwa was out of this game during this match as he did not produce his usual magic. His reactions were delayed and his smashes lacked the force of conviction. He was supported by Sharmitha who took up the role of getting the team some points and Arjun had to resort some acrobatic saves to help them win the game, while Yazhini tried to stop them from losing points. They managed to beat Team Green Rockers 3-2 with a score of 11-9, 6-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8 .
Senthil Kumar from Green Rockers had to win this match, if not take it to the fifth game for any chance of their team qualifying to the finals. All eyes were him. And facing him was the most expensive player in the TTSL TN first edition, R Rajesh.
Theirs was a fast match – quick, methodical and technically superior. Rajesh brought down the walls of Senthil before the match was half done and won the first set 11-4. Senthil rallied and brought himself to hunker down and wait for the ball to come to him instead of going for it. Rajesh fell hook, line, and sinker to him, which led to Senthil winning the second set with a score of – 11-9. Rajesh caught on and brought down Senthil in the next sets, with a score of 11-3, 11-3. Rajesh won the match and helped Hindustan sail through to the finals, setting up a clash against Time Links Mobie Chargers.