New Delhi: Olympian Achanta Sharath Kamal won the opening tie but Indian men squandered the early lead and went down to Serbia 2-3, while their women counterparts snatched a hard-fought 3-2 win over Israel in the second round of the World Table Tennis Team Championships in Moscow.
Indian men were off to a fine start with world number 70, Sharath and former national champion Subhajit Saha clinching the first two ties.
Sharath thrashed Aleksandar Karakasevic 3-0 and then Saha ardly broke a sweat to outplay Zolt Pete 3-1.
Soumyadeep Roy, however, failed to swell the lead and went down to Marko Jevtovic 1-3.
Serbia then remarkably clawed their way back into the contest as both Saha and Indian spearhead Sharath were spanked with an identical 0-3 scoreline in the next two ties.
Saha lost to Karakasevic and Sahath to Pete. India now play Turkey in 29th-32nd position play off.
Meanwhile, Kumaresan Shamini overcame Israel`s Natali Ruvman 3-1 to give India 1-0 lead in women`s match which saw some tooth and nail battle.
Marina Kravchenko soon retaliated by humbling former national champion Mouma Das 0-3, but Madhurika Patkar (3-0) overcame Einat Amar to help India secure the lead again.
Although Shamini suffered a 1-3 defeat to Kravchenko in the fourth tie, Mouma fetched from her experience to beat Ruvman 3-0 and sealed the issue for India.
Indian women`s team now face Estonia, who beat Portugal 3-1.
Both the Indian men`s and women`s teams are competing in the second division of the prestigious tournament.