India, Dec. 2 -- Sathiyan Gnanasekaran had that sinking feeling again. Up 10-6 against Simon Gauzy-the Frenchman against whom he had lost all his three past encounters-India's highest-ranked paddler blew away the lead to lose the first game 11-13. And then the second 9-11. "I thought, 'C'mon, it's the same story again. You're leading and you're almost there but you're not able to win it'," Sathiyan said.

Except, this time, the story was different.

The world No 30 turned the tables quite spectacularly to shock the 22nd-ranked Gauzy 4-3 in the first Group D match of his maiden appearance at the ITTF World Cup in Chengdu on Friday. The Indian backed it up by notching up another triumph against a higher-ranked player who he had never beaten...