India’s table tennis poster boy Sharath Kamal exited the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday after a 1-4 loss to reigning Olympic champion Ma Long of China. However, he feels that he played the best match of his almost two-decade-old career.

Before exiting the Summer Games, Sharath was able to take a game off ‘The Dictator’.

“I played the best game possible and that has been my best Olympic Games, simple because of the way I played. The only thing I would like to change here is the draw. If I had anybody else in this situation (other than Ma) and I had a real good shot at reaching the quarterfinals,” the world number 32 told PTI.

Sharath surprised himself, as well, by producing lightning-quick forehand and backhand winners with pinpoint precision to put the pressure on the ‘The Dragon’.

“The kind of pressure I was able to put him in, I almost had him,” he said

“I have not yet broken down the game tactically yet but it was more about putting the pressure on Ma (who played the first match of the competition).”

Sharath came this close to taking another game off his opponent but could not consolidate on the advantage. He said had he won the third game, the men’s singles third round would have been different.

“I was just unfortunate the I could not convert that third game, otherwise it would have been a very different match,” he said.

The 39-year-old said he now plans on taking a break and then reassessing his plans. If he will play at the Paris Olympics or not, is yet to be seen.

“My whastapp is full of messages telling me to carry on till Paris. The only person who wouldn’t want that is my wife (he says with a laugh). This performance has definitely given me a push to be there at Paris.

“I will go back home and reassess my plans with the CWG and Asian Games scheduled next year. I need a short break now and then I will think about everything else.

“Though we didn’t win a medal, it has been a solid performance from India. Manika did really well (to reach third round) and both of us were able to generate a lot more eyeballs on the game.”