Chennai, July 20, 2017: When CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis started on July 13, 2017, Sanil Shetty and Harmeet Desai were promising talents representing Falcons TTC and DHFL Maharashtra United respectively.
On Day 1 of the league, Sanil Shetty made a cracking debut in UTT beating world No. 31 Tiago Apolonia from RP-SG Mavericks in singles followed by beating the pair of Sharath Kamal and Sofia Polcanova in mixed doubles with Lee Ho Ching. In his next tie, Sanil came met Dabang Smashers, losing the singles match against Marcos Freitas but winning the mixed doubles tie against Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Tetyana Bilenko.
The confidence of beating world No. 31 was carried when he faced world No. 29 Quadri Aruna of Oilmax Stag Yoddhas. Sanil clean swept Quadri 3-0 followed up by another clean sweep in mixed doubles.
It was then Harmeet Desai chance to shine. Making his debut against Oilmax Stag Yoddhas, Harmeet clean swept world No. 19 Panagiotis Gionis 3-0 on debut. In his next tie against RP-SG Mavericks, the Surat lad continued his good form beating world No. 23 Stefan Fegerl and winning the mixed doubles tie against the pair of Sharath Kamal and Sofia Polcanova.
With their stellar performances the two have brought in a perception change. From promising players, they have become match-winners.
“It has been a great learning experience this entire UTT. To even watch these top players train so closely is just amazing,” said Sanil. Harmeet echoes the sentiments of Sanil. “To train and share dressing room alongside world No. 8 (Wong Chun Ting) is something I personally never experienced. It’s the small things that they do differently which is a great lesson for all of us,” explained Harmeet.
Sanil’s elder brother Sachin Shetty coaches RP-SG Mavericks in the league. It was against Mavericks where Sanil drew first blood. “He took the match away from us with the four points (two points each against Tiago Apolonia & Sharath Kamal/ Sofia Polcanova). I am sure he will come out a better player after the league,” said Sachin.
On the other hand, Ferenc Karsai, coach of DHFL Maharashtra United is also excited about Harmeet as a prospect. “He has a good attitude and a game to back it. He can easily become the best Indian player in next few years,” pointed Karsai, who has coached Austria, Belgium and Canada national teams previously.