'Time out was turning point'

Calcutta: Soumyajit Ghosh was nervous ahead of playing his first National Table Tennis Championship final, on Saturday.

Pitted against the battle-hardened Sharath Kamal he was trailing 1-2 at the start of the match and 1-4 in the crucial sixth game before making a stellar comeback to win the title.

So what was the turning point for him in the match?

"I was extremely nervous at the start of the match. Actually, my strategy was wrong…

I was playing aggressively and making a lot of errors. Then I took a time out and analysed my game as well as Sharath's game.

I realised that Sharath was dominating the game using his forehand whereas he was not playing well with his backhand. So, I went for the jugular…

I didn't let him use his forehand much... And that made the difference," Soumyajit told The Telegraph from Raipur.

The 19-year-old Olympian from Siliguri became the youngest to win the national title. Soumyajit rated the performance in the final as one of his best.

"I did beat Sharath quite a few of times in the recent past… So those results gave me the confidence.

"But a national final is a different thing altogether. You have to be at your best… I thought I played really well today. I gave one of my best performance," said Soumyajit.

Asked whether he expected to win the title, Soumyajit said: "I actually did…

Since I was the top seed and I was the favourite, there was enormous pressure on me.... I was hungry for success… So, it feels nice to live up to the expectations."

Soumyajit, however, is in no mood to celebrate.

He said that his next target is to win the men's singles' title in the Commonwealth Championships, which will be held at New Delhi in May.

"I cannot get carried away with this success. I'm going back to Sweden to play in the league matches next week. My next target is to win the Commonwealth Championship."

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