Achanta Sharath Kamal, India’s lone hope in the Indian Open Table Tennis Championship, ran out of steam on Sunday and went down to world No. 13 Dimitrij Ovtcharov in a lopsided semifinal.
The German went on to beat Korea’s Seo Hyun Deok in the final of the $100,000 event.
Sharath, ranked 91 in the world, looked edgy from the start and made repeated errors in the first set. Although some of his winners in the ensuing sets were exquisite, they failed to impact the final outcome, as Ovtcharov surged ahead 11-4, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4. The scoreline highlighted the German’s dominance, as he never allowed Sharath to free his arms.
Sharath could take consolation that he was up against a vicious server who made full use of side and top-spin.
The 38th seeded Deok too didn’t have a strategy in place as Ovtcharov, who played the event without a coach, nailed a 11-4, 11-9,11-2,11-5 win in the final.
“My coach needed rest after the World Championships. So, Patrick Baum (a fellow player) and I came alone. It has been a great learning curve for us,” said Ovtcharov, who now plans to follow the soccer World Cup. “Of course, I’m supporting Germany but (Lionel) Messi is my favourite player,” he said.