Contrasting wins for GSand Raptors and Team TVS
All four semi finalists rejigged their line ups in the hope that they'll catch the opponents off guard. That resulted in a few unexpected contests and one of the semi finals ending in 2 matches with the 3rd match redundant.
The highlight of the day was the pulsating fight in the Open doubles between TVS and TIPL ADVANTAGE. George Mathew and Jayakrishna were distinctly unlucky not to go 5-3 up in the tie breaker as Vinod Comor and Reji Verghese defended magnificently to give TVS the all-important lead.
Kaamil took the doubles against Akhil after the latter put up a brave fight against a superior, more experienced opponent.
The first semi final had ended without much fanfare as Raptors took the singles and the 110 doubles after losing the Open doubles to Shanja Acers as expected.
The GSand vs TVS final will follow the one-match 3rd place playoff between TIPL and Shanja on Sunday evening as TPTL reaches its climax.
Day 7 - Evening Round up
It's GSand x Shanja and TVS x TIPL in the semis
Heartburn for Thomson, Firmusoft and Rockholm as the group stage wound up on Friday on almost expected lines.
There were 3-way ties (on points and net match difference) for the 2nd place in both groups. The ties had to be broken on the basis of their singles results amongst the tied teams, as per the rules. Shanja and TIPL qualified on that count.
TIPL Advantage won 110 doubles and the singles over Doscos to end Thomson Super Kings' chances in group A.
Shanja Acers could afford to lose to Firmusoft Flames as long as they won the singles, and this is exactly what they did.
Both semi finals would be played out on Saturday evening
Day 7 - Morning Round up
Rockholm beats BP, ends group stage in style
Rockholm Rocks nearly pulled off a 3-0 win over BP Slammers that would have nearly put them in the semi finals. Alas there was no fairy tale ending. They won 2-1 and their chances now hang by a thin strand.
The final Group B tie this evening between Firmusoft and Shanja will decide who will join TVS in the last 4. Shanja are hot favourites as they need just one singles win to clinch the spot. And, they have the unbeaten MS Krishnakumar in their ranks.
The 2nd spot from Group A will also be decided this evening. TIPL can grab it with a simple win over Doscos, but if they lose Thomson will qualify on the H2H count with GT.
Day 6 - Evening Round up
GSand remains unbeaten, TVS also through to semi finals
Team TVS entered the semi finals with a clinical victory over BP Slammers in Group B. Kaamil wore down Harish in the deciding singles after the two doubles matches were shared.
Shanja Acers are now the favorites to join TVS in the KO stage from Group B, thanks to their singles wins.
In Group A GSand Raptors continued their unbeaten run with a 2-1 defeat of Thomson Super Kings. The latter will now have to hope that Doscos will overcome TIPL.
Day 6 - Morning Round up
GT Regals win but singles loss may hurt
It turned out to be a thriller alongside the Republic Day ceremony. The crucial best-of-3 Super tie breaks singles match between Santosh Koshy and CH Suresh was one-all when it took a 10-min break for the flag hoisting. When it resumed it became a nail biter as Koshy played a smart game but Suresh fought gamely and saved 5 match points. The 6th one however proved decisive and gave TIPL a point from Singles that could well be their saving grace in the event of a 3-way tie in the group for 2nd place.
Regals went on to take both doubles to record a 2-1 win, but needed a 3-0 win over TIPL to stay alive, in the hope that there would be a 3-way tie. Now it does look like no permutation of results on the remaining group ties would favour them in reaching the KO stage except an unlikely 3-0 win for GSand over Thomson.
Two ties remain in Group A. Thomson can ensure a semi final place by beating GSand (who are already guaranteed a spot). But if they lose, TIPL will qualify if they beat Doscos in the final tie of this group.
GT and TIPL will be following the Thomson vs GSand tie this evening very closely.
Day 5 - Evening Round up
Raptors eliminate Doscos, Rocks live to fight another day
Despite a dream start to their penultimate tie when Anand Kumar and Madhu Ganesh blanked Ajit R and Sriram 7-0 in the 110 doubles, Doscos surrendered to GSand Raptors in the next 2 matches to stand eliminated from the KO stage.
Raptors, on the other hand, have one foot in the semi finals. They are also the sole undefeated team in the competition to date.
Defending champions Rockholm Rocks would have faced the same dilemma as Doscos if they had lost to Firmusoft Flames. Their fortunes hung on their marquee player pulling off the singles win, and Arun Cherry Jacob did not disappoint. He won a close battle against Aqueel Faheem to keep Rocks alive till the final day of the Round Robin on Friday when they take on BP Slammers.
Day 5 - Morning Round up
Shanja Acers get the better of TVS
Shanja Acers made shrewd changes in their line up and outwitted Team TVS to their first loss in Group B.
MS Krishnakumar paired with Sajit Edwin to power past hitherto unbeaten Kaamil and Reji Verghese to set up the victory, which was then sealed by V Santosh's win over debutant Sandeep Zachariah in the singles.
Both the teams have now won 2 and lost 1, and are placed joint top in the group..
Day 4 - Evening Round up
Aqueel and Santosh Koshy do it for Flames and Advantage
The unpredictability of TPTL lies mainly in how the teams choose their line ups and their singles players, keeping in mind the 110 age clause for one doubles match and the permutations that are available for the opponent of the day.
It was evident after the line ups were exchanged this evening at the roofed stadium (after waterlogged court 1 was ruled out due to rain) that singles would be the key in both the ties.
The scores do not reflect it, but both the Singles matches were close as Santosh Koshy beat Pradip Vijayan in a do or die battle for TIPL Advantage, and Aqueel Faheem defeated Mohd Aslam to keep Firmusoft Flames' chances alive in the round robin stage.
The doubles matches went on expected lines.
Tuesday's results meant that all ten teams are still alive in the competition. The status might well be different by end of Wednesday.
Day 4 - Morning Round up
Comfortable win for Raptors
Ram Kishore was too good for Vikraman in the deciding singles and helped GSand Raptors get a valuable point against GT Regals in the race to the semi finals from Group A.
Kuriakose and Thomas had given Raptors an invaluable 1-0 lead by winning the Open doubles over Kumaraswamy and Vineeth. That lead was expectedly neutralized by Regals in the 110 doubles, thus setting up the decider singles.
GT now have a mountain to climb. They must win their final match and also hope for favourable results in the other ties.
Day 3 - Evening Round up
Great escape for Regals, Slammers prove a point
GT Regals were down for the count when their top pairing CH Suresh and KV Sudeep unexpectedly lost to Doscos' Najeem and Nithin Philip. But salvation came out of the blue for Regals in the form of Surendra Kumar Vikraman who caused an even bigger upset by overcoming Doscos' marquee player Madhu Ganesh 2-1 in the singles and helped Regals stay firmly in contention for a place in the last four.
BP Slammers later proved that big names don't mean everything with a smartly planned win over Shanja Acers, which had the tournament's top star MS Krishnakumar in their ranks. By winning both their doubles they made MSK's singles infructuous. Ramakrishnan, Sudheer and Nizamudeen were the heroes for BP as they outmaneuvered Sajit Edwin and V Santosh of Acers by taking advantage of the substitution option midway through their match
Day 3 - Morning Round up
TVS edges out Flames in thriller
It was anybody's game till the very end. Team TVS it was who held their nerve to win two games after the score became 5-all in the deciding match. The oldest player on court H Krishnamoorthy was also the craftiest, and earned some crucial points for TVS.
Earlier, Flames had got off to a perfect start with Jinu John winning the singles 2-0 over Jeet Mathew. TVS tied the scores by claiming the Open doubles after a see-saw battle between the Faheem twins. Kaamil and Reji narrowly prevailed over Aqueel and Praveen.
Day 2 - Evening Round up
TVS and Raptors win their opening ties
Team TVS inflicted a blow to the chances of defending champions Rockholm Rocks by beating them 2-1, thanks to two doubles victories. Unlike Rocks, TVS seems to have got their playing combinations just right.
The day's final tie saw GSand Raptors overcome TIPL Advantage 2-1. The Jacob brothers Kuriakose and Thomas won the crucial open doubles over Rajeev and Jayakrishna that clinched the tie. It was the first tie for both teams.
The last 2 teams to start their campaign BP Slammers and Firmusoft Flames will be in action on Day 3.
Day 2 - Morning Round up
Super Kings scores an important point
Thomson Super Kings arguably benefited from a strategic error by Doscos to win their second consecutive tie and take an early lead in Group A.
Doscos fielded their top 2 players Madhu Ganesh and Najeem for an easy win in 110+ and exhausted their line-up for the remaining 2 matches which they promptly lost without much ado.
Day 1 - Round up
Day 2 - Morning Round up
Defending champs Rocks suffer loss, Super Kings come back in style
Rockholm Rocks, winner of TPTL VII in 2022, got off to a low-key start to their campaign by losing to Shanja Acers 1-2 in a Group B match as Edition VIII made a beginning on Saturday.
The highlight of the day was the singles match between MS Krishnakumar and Arun Cherry, which MS won narrowly for the Acers to square the tie 1-1 after Joseph Kodoth and Biju Vijayan took the lead for Rocks winning the Open doubles. Sajit Edwin and V Santosh then won the crucial 110+ doubles over Percy Joseph and Lakshminarayanan to clinch the tie for Acers 2-1.
In another tie earlier in the evening Thomson Super Kings made a triumphant return to TPTL after a gap of 4 years by getting the better of GT Regals, again 2-1.
Pradeep Vijay started them off brilliantly with a shock victory over favored CH Suresh of Regals 2-0 in Singles, a best-of-3 Super tie breaks affair.
Kumaraswamy and CT Padmakumar expectedly blanked out veterans Satish Kumar and John Mathai in 110+, but VS Visakh and Biju Thomas took the all-important 3rd match, the Open doubles, winning over KV Sudeep and Vineeth Govind 7-3.