Paddler Sathiyan alleges unfair umpiring at WTT Contender Lagos, says robbed of a win

Lagos (Nigeria), June 21 (IANS) India’s former National Champion Sathiyan Gnanasekaran on Friday took to social media to highlight “unfair umpiring” during his 2-3 defeat to French player Thibault Poret in men’s singles Round of 16 stage at the WTT Contender Lagos 2024 here on Friday.

Sathiyan, ranked 71st in the WTT World Rankings, made a comeback from two sets down and was leading 2-0 in the fifth and final set when he claimed the umpire made some “unfair” calls that cost him the match. Sathiyan lost to the 111th-ranked Poret 8-11, 8=11, 11-4, 11-5, 6-11 at the Sir Molade Okoya Thomas Indoor Sports Hall in Lagos, Nigeria.

In his post on Instagram headlined, “Unfair umpiring at its worst here in Lagos”, Sathiyan said the “unfair umpiring” broke his rhythm and left him disappointed and dispirited.

“I never normally complain about these things but what just happened today is beyond imagination & was totally unfair,” said Sathiyan in his post.

“I made a good comeback from 2 sets down & was leading 2-0 in the final set. The opponent was given a service fault (he was even given a warning before), and after a lot of quarrels with the referee, out of the blue, the opponent took a medical timeout just to kill time when he had no medical issue until then, and to my surprise, it was granted as well,” wrote Sathiyan in his post.

“And then when I was leading 3-1 in the last set, I was given a service fault out of nowhere without even a warning, in the serve in which I was getting a lot of points, probably just to make it even which totally spoiled my rhythm,” said the Indian player a multiple-time medallist in the Commonwealth Games.

Sathiyan, who won a bronze medal in the Men’s Team event at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, said this kind of umpiring at the international level was very disappointing.

“We players work so hard and such kind of unfair umpiring at the international level & to rob a match like this is certainly very disappointing,” wrote Sathiyan in the post marked to World Table Tennis (@wtt), the governing body for the sport at international level.



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