Harmeet Desai enters Qatar Open U-21 final
Harmeet Desai entered the final of the Under 21 men's singles final, beating Brazilian Hugo Calderano 11-6, 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 at the USD 3.5 million Qatar Open Super Series Table Tennis Championships in Bahrain on Friday night.
He will meet Frenchman Tristan Flore in the final on Sunday.
Flore defeated Benjamin Brossier in an all-French semifinal encounter 11-2, 11-9, 12-10, 11-3.
In a long time, the Under-21 final will be between two unseeded players who have come through qualifications to earn their respective places.
In fact, Desai was victory was even sweeter as he accounted for the Brazilian who defeated compatriot Soumyajit Ghosh, the No. 5 seed, 11-8, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9, 11-4 in the quarterfinals.
Indeed, it was a very impressive win for Desai, who had been running a great form since the Senior Nationals at Patna this January.
There he had accounted for top-seed Indian Sharath Kamal before losing the men's singles final to Sanil Shetty.
Playing a fast paced game, Desai never gave an opportunity to his Brazilian rival and pinned him on the back foot.
Not once did he relax during the semifinal making it utterly impossible for Hugo.
Desai summed up his game nicely after the victory, and said, "I played faster than Soumyajit and continued with it throughout my match. My style of attacking game upset Hugo."
Both played an open game, but what made the difference was Desai's making use of some close points that came his way.
Having played Hugo once before at in a tournament in Sweden, where he had lost to Hugo, Desai was determined to outwit his rival.
He also said he had spoken to Soumyajit before the match and it helped to some extent.
Incidentally, Desai had won the Under 21 Men's Singles event, his one and only ITTF World Tour title to date, in June 2012 in the Brazilian city of Santos.
It is to be seen if Desai can continue with his form to annex another title here.
(Posted on 22-02-2014)