2014 Glasgow Games: Sharath Kamal enters Commonwealth Games TT semifinals
Glasgow: Indian ace Sharath Kamal Achanta humbled England`s Paul Drinkhall 4-1 to enter the table tennis semifinals on Day 9 of the Commonwealth Games here on Friday.
Kamal comfortably beat Drinkhall 11-7 11-6 12-10 9-11 11-6 in the best-of-7 quarterfinals encounter that lasted just 43 minutes.
Kamal, 32, was in top form as he lost just 1 game in a dominant display at the Scotstoun Table Tennis arena.
"After losing the fourth one I could`ve gone a little bit crazier but the coach kept me quiet. At 9-5 I had everything, he didn`t have a chance to get them back, but I missed unforced errors and gave him the points. I was not very sharp. My coach told me just to go to the next game. He said: `You`ll finish it here.`," said Kamal after the win.
There was enough inspiration for Kamal as he entered the last-8 mens singles encounter as the Andhra Pradesh star had already assured India a medal by reaching the mens doubles final with partner Anthony Amalraj earlier in the day.
"The guy who was shouting, running and aggressive that is the real ACHANTA. I was not so confident in the team event, now I have found myself," he said.
Drinkhall ofcourse was disappointed to lose in what he called a `tough game`.
"I`m very disappointed I didn`t perform well. That was probably my worst match. He (Achanta) was pushing long and I was spinning up. Every loose ball I played he put away," Drinkhall said after the loss.
Meanwhile another Indian in the mens singles quarterfinals, Soumyajit Ghosh lost to England`s Liam Pitchford 4-2.
"It was hard, you don`t want to lose. The level of playing is very high," Ghosh said after the loss.
"He played well, so did I, but I stopped in the middle. I want to wish him good luck," he said
"It was not so bad, I played at a standard level. I started well, but my concentration level dropped," he added.
Pitchford was all praise for Soumyajit`s style of play as he praised his opponent.
"His style was very different. I`ve never played him before. He kept the ball on the table very well. It was a really tough match. I didn`t expect him to come out as sharp, and that changed my tactics. I really had to work hard to find a way to get past him. When I made my correction and concentrated fully I got the win," Pitchford said.
There was also disappointment in the womens doubles quarterfinals as Shamini Kumaresan and Madhurika Suhas Patkar lost to Joanna Drinkhall and Kelly Sibley 3-1.