Ace Indian paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal produced a sensational performance to clinch the 2020 ITTF Challenger Plus Oman Open men’s singles title here on Sunday. Despite being a game down, seasoned campaigner Sharath recovered well to outclass top seeded Marcos Freitas of Portugal 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-9, 3-11, 17-15 in the final.
With Oman Open crown, the 37-year-old veteran also ended his decade long wait for the title at ITTF event. It was in 2010, Sharath bagged a title last time when he won Egypt Open. Since then he made two semi-final appearances (Morocco Open in 2011 and India Open in 2017) but couldn’t manage to get through it.
Earlier in the semi-finals, Sharath pulled off a stunning come-from-behind victory against Russia’s Kirill Skachkov. Fourth-seeded Sharath made a sensational comeback after being two games down to register 11-13, 11-13, 13-11, 11-9, 13-11, 8-11, 11-7 win in a thrilling seven-set semi-final that lasted for one hour and eight minutes.
Freitas entered final with a 5-11, 11-9, 6-11, 6-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-3 win over Harmeet Desai. India paddler Desai produced a gritty performance and was seen dominating the match at the initial stage. However, World No. 26 Freitas fought back well after being 3-1 down and went on to win the next three successive games to make his way into the final.
With a good performance here, the World No. 87 Desai is expected to make notable progress in the upcoming world rankings.
(Men’s Singles Final): Achanta Sharath Kamal bt Marcos Freitas (Portugal) 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-9, 3-11, 17-15.
(Men’s Singles Semi-Finals): Achanta Sharath Kamal bt Kirill Skachkov (Russia) 11-13, 11-13, 13-11, 11-9, 13-11, 8-11, 11-7; Harmeet Desai lost to Marcos Freitas (Portugal) 5-11, 11-9, 6-11, 6-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-3.