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Team Support Role, English Teenager Responds to Cause First Stage Upset
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Alexander Ramsden impressive in Surat  Photo By: Umang Gajjar

12/19/2015        2015 20th Commonwealth Championships (Click here to access this section)

Resigned to the bench for the majority of the Team event earlier in the proceedings, Englandís Alexander Ramsden was the player to cause the biggest upset in the first stage of the Menís Singles event at the 20th Commonwealth Championships in Surat, India, on Saturday 19th December.

In an event which where only players finishing in first places in each of the 12 groups progressed to the main draw, the 15 year old excelled expectations to beat Sri Lankaís Rohan Sirisena, now 33 years old and one of the most experienced players in the whole tournament.

Alexander Ramsden, after overcoming Michael Marsden of Wales (11-9, 3-11, 11-7, 11-5) and Demetrios Katsouris of Cyprus (11-9, 11-5, 12-10), recovered from an opening game deficit to beat Rohan Sirisena in four games (11-13, 11-6, 11-7, 11-3).

Currently Alexander Ramsden is named at no.806 on the Menís World Rankings, Rohan Sirisena is at no.447.

Testing Times
A somewhat surprise first place for Alexander Ramsden; in the remaining groups, matters progressed as status advised with the highest rated remaining unbeaten to secure top spot and thus join the seeded players in the main draw.

However, there were some close calls. Marios Yiangou of Cyprus needed the full five games to beat Irelandís Owen Cathcart (10-12, 11-4, 11-3, 10-12, 11-7), whilst Scotlandís Craig Howieson had to recover from a two games to nil deficit to overcome Sri Lankaís Chameera Ginige (10-12, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-9).

Equally, the host nationís Devesh Karia was tested; he found the experienced Ryan Jenkins of Wales more than a handful. Eventually the 27 year old succeeded by the very narrowest of margins (11-5, 4-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9).

Less Demanding
Hard fought first places; in the remaining groups for the highest rated, life was less demanding.

Indiaís Sanil Shetty, Sudhanshu Grover and Abhishek Yadav, in addition to Englandís David McBeath and Helshan Weerasinghe duly secured first places in their respective groups

Likewise, Northern Irelandís Paul McCreery and Ashley Robinson topped their groups in style as did Singaporeís Pang Xue Jie.

Menís Doubles
In a somewhat similar vein, in the Menís Doubles event, the leading pairs all progressed to the penultimate round.

Indiaís Soumyajit Ghosh and Harmeet Desai alongside colleagues Amalraj Anthony and Sanil Shetty booked their last eight places as did the Singapore pairings Clarence Chew and Li Hu, Chen Feng and Pang Xue Jie.

Sanil Shetty and Manika Batra Upset Seeding
Meanwhile, in the Mixed Doubles event, as matters progressed to the semi-final stage, Indiaís Sanil Shetty and Manika Batra emerged as the pairing to cause the major upset.

They beat Singaporeís Clarence Chew and Lin Ye, the no.2 seeds, at the quarter-final stage of proceedings (11-9, 11-2, 11-9).

In the penultimate round Sanil Shetty and Manika Batra meet colleagues, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Ankita Das, the no.3 seeds; in the opposite half of the draw Singaporeís Li Hu and Zhou Yihan, the top seeds, confront Indiaís Soumyajit Ghosh and Mouma Das, the no.4 seeds (13-11, 11-1, 11-6).

Matters Continue
Proceedings continue on Sunday 20th December and conclude on Monday 21st December.



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