Glasgow: Indian ace Sharath Kamal Achanta humbled England's Paul Drinkhall 4-1 to enter the table tennis semifinals on Day 9 of the Commonwealth Games here on Friday. (Day 9 developments)
Kamal comfortably beat Drinkhall 11-7 11-6 12-10 9-11 11-6 in the best-of-7 quarterfinals encounter that lasted just 43 minutes.
Kamal, 32, was in top form as he lost just 1 game in a dominant display at the Scotstoun Table Tennis arena.
"After losing the fourth one I could've gone a little bit crazier but the coach kept me quiet. At 9-5 I had everything, he didn't have a chance to get them back, but I missed unforced errors and gave him the points. I was not very sharp. My coach told me just to go to the next game. He said: 'You'll finish it here.'," said Kamal after the win.
There was enough inspiration for Kamal as he entered the last-8 men's singles encounter as the Tamil Nadu paddler had\ already assured India a medal by reaching the mens doubles final with partner Anthony Amalraj earlier in the day.
"The guy who was shouting, running and aggressive that is the real ACHANTA. I was not so confident in the team event, now I have found myself," he said.
Drinkhall ofcourse was disappointed to lose in what he called a 'tough game'. "I'm very disappointed I didn't perform well. That was probably my worst match. He (Achanta) was pushing long and I was spinning up. Every loose ball I played he put away," Drinkhall said after the loss.
Meanwhile another Indian in the mens singles quarterfinals, Soumyajit Ghosh lost to England's Liam Pitchford 4-2.
"It was hard, you don't want to lose. The level of playing is very high," Ghosh said after the loss. "He played well, so did I, but I stopped in the middle. I want to wish him good luck," he said
"It was not so bad, I played at a standard level. I started well, but my concentration level dropped," he added.
Pitchford was all praise for Soumyajit's style of play as he praised his opponent. "His style was very different. I've never played him before. He kept the ball on the table very well. It was a really tough match. I didn't expect him to come out as sharp, and that changed my tactics. I really had to work hard to find a way to get past him. When I made my correction and concentrated fully I got the win," Pitchford said.
There was also disappointment in the womens doubles quarterfinals as Shamini Kumaresan and Madhurika Suhas Patkar lost to Joanna Drinkhall and Kelly Sibley 3-1.