Desai enters Qatar Open U-21 final
Harmeet Desai entered the final of the Under-21 men’s singles final after beating Brazilian Hugo Calderano
New Delhi: Harmeet Desai entered the final of the Under-21 men’s singles final after 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 at Bahrain.
In the final, Desai will take on Frenchman Tristan Flore, who had defeated Benjamin Brossier in an all-French semifinal 11-2 11-9 12-10 11-3.
After a long time, the U-21 final will be between two unseeded players who have come through qualifications to earn their respective places.
In fact, Desai’s 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.
It turned out to be a very impressive win for Desai, who has been in a great form since the Senior Nationals at Patna this January, where 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 any opportunity to his Brazilian rival and pushed him on the back foot. Not once did he relax during the semifinal encounter, making it utterly impossible for Hugo.
Desai summed up his game nicely after the victory, saying, “I played faster than Soumyajit and continued with it throughout the 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 at Sweden, where he had lost to him, Desai was determined to outwit his rival. He also said he had spoken to Soumyajit before the match and it helped him to an extent.
Desai had earlier won the U-21 men’s singles event, his one and only ITTF World Tour title till date, in June 2012 in the Brazilian city of Santos.