Sharath Kamal clinches Oman Open, ends decade long title drought

Last Modified Monday, 16 March 2020 (16:51 IST)
Muscat: Ace Indian paddler Achanta produced a sensational performance to clinch the 2020 Challenger Plus 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 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.(UNI)