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Table Tennis

WTT Lagos: Sathiyan eliminated in second round after 'Unfair Umpiring' controversy

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran criticized an 'unfair umpiring' decision in the final game of his second-round match at WTT Lagos.

sathiyan gnanasekaran table tennis world championships

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (Source: WTT)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 21 Jun 2024 3:18 PM GMT

Indian paddler Sathiyan Gnanasekaran suffered a second-round exit at the WTT Contender event in Lagos, Nigeria, after a controversial decision in the deciding game. Sathiyan criticized the umpires, calling the decision "unfair umpiring."

He faced Thibault Poret of France in this second-round match and ended up on the losing side (8-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-5, 6-11) after a closely contested five-game match. After the match, he shared his thoughts on Instagram.

"I never normally complain about these things, but what happened today is beyond imagination and was unfair. We players work so hard, and such kind of unfair umpiring at the international level, to rob a match like this, is certainly very disappointing," said Sathiyan.

Good comeback

Sathiyan had a very poor start to the match, quickly dropping the first two games with identical scores of 8-11. He struggled with his serve in the first two games, losing more than 10 points on his serve.

However, he bounced back strongly in the next two games, shifting the momentum in his favor to force a decider. He looked sharp going into the final game of the match.

Dramatic deciding game

He started the final game with confidence and gained an early advantage, but his fortunes turned due to several controversial decisions from the referee, which ruined his rhythm, and ultimately, he lost the match.

"I made a good comeback from 2 sets down and was leading 2-0 in the final set, but then my opponent was given a service fault (he was even given a warning before), after a lot of quarrel with the referee. Out of the blue, he just takes a medical timeout to kill time, and to my surprise, it was granted," Sathiyan explained about the final game incident.

"And then, when I was leading 3-1 in the last set, I was given a service fault out of nowhere without even a warning, in the serve in which I was getting a lot of points, probably just to make it even, which spoiled my rhythm," he added.

In other matches of the day, Sreeja Akula and Ayhika Mukherjee secured easy wins, booking their spots in the quarterfinals. Additionally, the Indian women's doubles pair of Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee won an easy quarterfinal match.

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