Ankur stuns World number five, thankful to Sharath Kamal’s encouragement

Incidentally, Sharath Kamal crashed out of the tournament losing in the singles quarter-final on Friday.

Ankur Bhattacharya stunned the World's fifth-ranked paddler Gil Minseok with a whipping score of 3-0 in the under-19 singles of the ongoing Singapore Smash Open on Friday. Minseok was back-to-back world champion in the under-17 category. 

Ankur reached the Pre-quarter final in the Singapore Open Smash and he also stunned Japan’s Tamito Watanabe who was Asian Champion last year in the under-19 category.

The 16-year-old paddler from Kolkata has ensured his berth again in the Under-19 World Championship for the third consecutive time although the coming Under-19 World Championship will be his fourth World Championship as he started participating in the prestigious competition in the Under-15 category. 

Speaking over the phone from Singapore Ankur sounded delighted with the victories and said, "I defeated both of them for the first time. Both were truly tough oppositions. I am extremely happy due to another reason my game was almost flawless today. I hardly did unforced error throughout the match."

Bhattacharya credited his father and coach Angshuman Bhattacharya once again for the valuable advice he gave in a telephone conversation before the match. "I could do everything perfect on the board whatever my father instructed before the match. I tried to bring variation in my game today and it worked. My father asked me not to make unforced errors and give them points which I implemented perfectly.” 

Ankur at the same time, heaped praise on India’s legendary paddler Sharath Kamal for his encouragement. “Sharath Kamal supports me a lot. After my victory, he not only congratulated me but motivated me a lot for my next matches.”

Incidentally, Sharath Kamal crashed out of the tournament losing in the singles quarter-final on the day.

His name has not been included in the TOPs scheme. Ankur replied, “It might be that my performance is still not up to the mark. That is why my name has not been included. It is motivating me more to deliver in the coming tournaments to draw their attention who have not enrolled my name in the list for the TOPs scheme.” 

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