Batam (Indonesia), Nov 17 : Seasoned Indian paddler Harmeet Desai continued his good run in the international circuit as he staved off a strong challenge from compatriot Amalraj Anthony to win the ITTF Challenge Indonesia Open here on Sunday.
In an all-Indian men’s singles final, it was Harmeet who started on the front foot, winning the opening game 11-9 before losing the next 9-11, allowing Amalraj to draw level.
Ranked 104 in the world, Harmeet, took control of the proceedings thereafter and won the next two games by an identical margin of 11-9 to go 3-1 up. Amalraj reduced the lead by winning the next game 12-10, but the reigning Commonwealth champion did not make any further mistake and won the 6th game 11-9 to seal the match 4-2 and win his second international title of the year.
Both the players looked in ominous form in the previous rounds, getting past their respective opponents with consummate ease.
Harmeet trounced Yuto Kizikuri of Japan and Siu Hang Lam of Hong Kong by the same scoreline of 4-2 in the quarterfinal and semifinal, respectively, while Amalraj picked two 4-0 victories over Joao Monteiro of Portugal and Ibrahima Diaw of Senegal in the round of eight and four, respectively.
Harmeet and Amalraj also teamed up in the men’s doubles event, making it to the semifinal. Playing against Man Ho Kwan and Siu Hang Lam of Hong Kong, they came up with a spirited challenge, but unfortunately capitulated 7-11, 9-11, 9-11 to bow out of the tournament.