The Indian teams started their campaigns in the Asian Games table tennis competition here on Friday with the men winning both their preliminary round matches while the women getting the better of a strong Singapore side at the GSP Gymnasium.
The Indian men blanked Yemen 3-0 in their opening match in the morning and then took the table again in the evening session to overcome Singapore 3-1 in preliminary round Group F.
The women's team had to fight hard to quell a strong Singapore 3-2 with seasoned players Manika Batra and Ayhika Mukherjee winning one and losing one match while Sreeja Akula won her match to help India overcome Singapore in a Group F match.
The men's team set the ball rolling on a winning note when it blanked Yemen 3-0 in their opening rubber as the 41-year-old Achanta Sharath Kamal, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Harmeet Desai barely broke a sweat in winning their matches 3-0 each.
They came back to the court in the evening with Sathiyan starting off by beating Yong Izaac Quek 3-1 (5-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-6). Harmeet Desai made it 2-0 for India with a hard-fought 12-10, 11-8, 6-11, 6-11, 11-5 win, failing to close out the match in three games.
India had a scare of sorts when Commonwealth Games men's singles gold medallist Sharath Kamal went down to the 123-ranked Zhe Yu Clarence Chew 11-13, 6-11, 12-10, 6-11.
Sathiyan then stepped up to the table to beat Yew En Koen Pang 11-7, 10-12, 11-9, and 11-6 to seal victory for India.
In the women's section, the Indian team started off on a disappointing note when Ayhika went down in four games to Jian Zeng after winning the first game, 11-7, 2-11, 7-11, 10-12.
Manika pulled India level by beating Jingyi Zhou 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3 and Sreeja Akula made it 2-1 for India with a hard-fought 12-14, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7
But just when India thought of wrapping up the match with Manika at the table, things went south for them as the Indian lost to Jian Zeng 3-11, 11-3, 10-12, 12-10, 10-12 in a nerve-jingling encounter.
However, the Indian women could not be denied on Friday as Ayhika then stepped up and defeated Jingyi Zhou 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5 to clinch the match for India.