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Sathiyan enters last-16 in ITTF World Cup, faces world no. 8 next

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India's G Sathiyan won both his group matches against higher-ranked opponents to enter the round of 16 in the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Men's World Cup here on Friday.

The world number 30 Sathiyan, making his World Cup debut, defeated Frenchman Simon Gauzy, ranked eight places above him, 4-3 in a thrilling and energy-sapping first match that lasted one hour and four minutes before a 4-2 win over world number 24 Groth Jonathan of Denmark.

The 26-year-old Indian topped the group D standings with four points to book a pre-quarterfinal berth. He will now face former world number one and current number eight Timo Boll of Germany in the round of 16 on Saturday.

In his first match of the day against Gauzy, Sathiyan was down two games but made an impressive recovery to win the match 11-13, 9-11, 11-8, 14-12, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8.

Gauzy looked like he was in control early on but the consistent backhand block and return shots from Sathiyan turned the match on its head.

"I am just

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