Paris: Seasoned paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal was the only Indian player to enter the second round of the World Table Tennis Championship in an otherwise disastrous day for his compatriots.
World No 69 Sharath defeated Spaniard Carlos Machado by 4-2 games in first round of the men`s singles event. Sharath`s teammates Anthony Amalraj and Soumyajit Ghosh made first round exits. In the women`s event, Mouma Das, K Shamini and Madhurika Patkar were ousted in the first round itself.
Sharath defeated world No. 106 Machado 11-7 11-5 8-11 11-8 5-11 11-9 while Amalraj lost to World No 22 Koki Niwa in straight games 5-11 4-11 8-11 7-11.
Ghosh was unlucky to draw world No. 2 Ma Long first up and the Chinese made short work of the Siliguri lad 11-8 11-4 11-3 11-9.
The Indian challenge in the women`s singles came to an end as Shamini was outclassed by Italian Nikoleta Stefanova 4-11 5-11 7-11 9-11 and before that Madhurika, though managed to take game off her opponent Wing Nam NG, the Hong Kong paddlers was too good on the day with 8-11 4-11 8-11 12-10 3-11 triumph.
Veteran Mouma who began promisingly, went down to another Hong Kong girl, Ho Ching Lee. The world No. 37 paddler outlasted her Indian rival with a 7-11 11-5 11-5 11-6 11-5 victory.
There was some hope in the mixed doubles as the Soumyajit Ghosh- Mouma Das pair secured a spot in the round of 32 with a win over Russian duo of Alexander Shibaev and Elana Troshneva 16-14 11-9 11-8 8-11 11-8. But in the next round they will be running into Peng Tang and Wing Nam NG, a strong pair from Hong Kong.
But life was not easy for the other pairs?Sharath and Shamini and Amalraj and Madhurika. Sharath and Shamini were defeated by Germany`s Patrick Franziska and Petrissa Slja 4-0 and the Japanese duo of Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa accounted for Amalraj and Madhurika 4-2.