The Indian men's table tennis team started its ITTF World Team Championships Finals 2022 campaign with a 3-0 win over Uzbekistan 3-0 in its first Group 2 tie, here on Saturday.
World No. 37 Sathiyan Gnanasekaran set the ball rolling for India by beating Kholikov Elmurod 3-0 (11-9, 11-9, 11-1).
National Games champion Harmeet Desai then registered another 3-0 (11-9, 11-6, 11-9) win over Anorboev Abdulaziz and Manav Thakkar sealed the victory after downing Iskandarov Shokhrukh 3-0 (11-6, 11-5, 11-5).
After the victory, the Indian men's table tennis team sits second in Group 2 with two points and will next play second-seeded Germany on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the women's team gave a tough fight but ultimately went down 2-3 to fifth seeds Germany in its first Group 5 match.
The tie began with Manika Batra losing the first match 0-3 (3-11, 1-11, 2-11) to world No.8 Han Ying. However, the young Sreeja Akula and Diya Chitale turned the tie around in the next two matches.
National champion Sreeja, ranked 77 in the world, brought India back into the tie with an impressive 3-0 (11-9, 12-10, 11-7) win over world No. 14 Nina Mittelham. Teenager Diya then pulled off another upset, beating world No. 46 Sabine Winter 3-1 (11-9, 11-8, 6-11, 13-11) to give India a 2-1 lead in the tie.
Looking to seal off the tie, Manika took the opening game against Nina Mittelham but she lost 1-3 (11-7, 6-11, 7-11, 8-11) as Germany made it 2-2. Sreeja Akula could not repeat her heroics in the deciding match as she lost 0-3 (3-11, 5-11, 4-11) to Han Ying.
The women's team will now face the Czech Republic on Sunday.