Sharath ends decade long title drought, clinches Oman Open

Muscat, Mar 15 (PTI) Ace Indian paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal ended his decade long wait for a title, producing a sensational performance to win the ITTF Challenger Plus Oman Open here on Sunday.

Despite being a game down, the 37-year-old Indian recovered well to outclass top seeded Marcos Freitas of Portugal 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-9, 3-11, 17-15 in the summit clash.

It was in 2010 when Sharath had bagged his last title at 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 India's Harmeet Desai.

Desai dominated the match at the initial stage but the world no. 26 Freitas fought his way back after being 1-3 down and went on to win the next three successive games to enter the final.

Results: Men's Singles Final: Achanta Sharath Kamal bt Marcos Freitas (Portugal) 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-9, 3-11, 17-15.

Men's Singles Semi-Finals: Achanta Sharath Kamal bt Kirill Skachkov (Russia) 11-13, 11-13, 13-11, 11-9, 13-11, 8-11, 11-7; Harmeet Desai lost to Marcos Freitas (Portugal) 5-11, 11-9, 6-11, 6-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-3. PTI ATK ATK