The WTT Contender Tunis 2021 was another step on the road to the comeback of international table tennis events. Staged from the 27th – 30th of October in Tunisia, the competition marked a spotlight moment for Team JOOLA’s Harmeet Desai as he took the highest honors in the Men’s Doubles contest with fellow countryman Sathiyan Gnanasekaran.
The road to victory was not without its bumps, starting right from the opening match in the Round of 16. Facing off against Germany’s Killian Ort and Tobias Hippler, the Indian duo had to give every ounce to bring home the match. Where Ort and Hippler won their two games 11 to 6 and 11 to 5, the games won by Desai and Gnanasekaran were much tighter.
The fifth and final game set the stage for what would be a thrilling Men’s Doubles competition, with the spirited Indian pair closing it 12-10.
The quarterfinals proved smoother sailing with a 3-1 win over Majoros and Juhasz. The semifinal match would prove to be the biggest challenge of all.
Facing a 2-0 deficit in games, Desai and Gnanasekaran clawed their way back into the match. They won 3 consecutive games and closed out the match 11-9 in the fifth over Hungary’s Ecseki and Szudi.
A gold medal and a prestigious WTT Contender title on the line, Desai and Gnanasekaran gave their all in the Final. The opposition was tough, with the combination of France’s left handed former European Champion Emmanuel Lebesson and partner Alexandre Cassin.
Again Desai and Gnanasekaran proved to handle themselves under pressure the best, sealing games 1 and 3 both by 11-9 margins. The two looked comfortable throughout the match, clearly displaying great teamwork and drawing on their years of being close teammates.
After a host of challenging matches, the Indian duo earned the top place on the podium.
Congratulations, Harmeet! We look forward to seeing more superb results from you in the near future!