Manav, along with World No. 11 Doo Hoi Kem, helped us stay alive, gaining 3 valuable points in the Mixed Doubles.
Coming back into a tough tie after being down is a great feeling, with victory tasting even sweeter. After falling behind 2-4 in the first two matches, Manav Thakkar played splendidly to bring our team (U Mumba TT) back into the contest.
Manav, along with World No. 11 Doo Hoi Kem, helped us stay alive, gaining 3 valuable points in the Mixed Doubles. He then warded off Sanil Shetty in the reverse Men’s Singles 2-1 to give us a crucial 7-5 lead, going into the final fixture.
It featured yours truly, and with a 2-point cushion, I could play freely which helped me win the match.
My opponent was RP-SG Mavericks’ Manika, who is an accomplished player. I must concede that I felt the pressure as I stepped in to play. But, since I knew her game, I decided to bring in a bit of variation, play a slower game and focus on my spin shots.
It worked perfectly and I rose in confidence after picking up the one point needed to win the tie. That helped me add one more to our kitty which may well prove crucial in the final analysis.
My coach and teammates simply told me to play my game. Using the phantom rubber has made my game very smooth and easy. It also helped that I bond well with our coach Soumyadeep Roy; he gives me advice and tips before facing each opponent.
I have been practicing very hard and working diligently on keeping my focus on the game. Thanks to this, my forehand has developed which helps me play with confidence. No matter who the opponent is, I keep the team above myself and always try and win points for the side.
Our team is well balanced and the bonding between us has been very good. We mix our combinations during practice sessions which helps us to introduce variations. Off the table, I have good friends in Manav and Moumita Dutta, with whom I have lots of fun. I get guidance from the talented Kirill Gerassimenko from Kazakhstan too.
UTT has seen many games being decided on Golden Points and this trend is only going to continue. These are difficult situations to be in, no doubt, but they add a lot of excitement and fun for all involved. We are all used to the format but we understand that one quick decision, one perfect moment is what changes everything.
We are working on formulating a strategy for our next match against Puneri Paltan and do hope to put up an encore. For all our future ties, we want to push real hard to enter the play-offs.
(BVK Sports and Media)
(Sutirtha Mukherjee plays for U Mumba TT in UTT)