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Table Tennis: Desai, Batra off to winning start at WTT Contender Doha
New Delhi, March 1, 2021
Manika Batra and Harmeet Desai opened their campaign on a winning note recording straight-set victories in their respective qualifying round-2 matches at the World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender Doha on Monday.
In the women's section, 2018 Commonwealth Games champion Batra chalked out a 12-10, 14-12, 11-8 victory against her Spanish opponent Sofia-Xuan Zhang in the women's singles.
World No. 73 Desai notched up an easy 11-5, 12-10, 11-6 win against compatriot Anthony Amalraj to move into the third round of singles qualifiers.
Three other Indians -- Sutirtha Mukherjee, Mudit Dani and Diya Chitale -- lost their respective singles qualifying round matches.
Two-time national champion Mukherjee failed to get the better of Ukraine’s Tetyana Bilenko 5-11, 3-11, 12-10, 9-11 while Dani, who is ranked 200, was up against World No. 85 Olah Benedek. He grabbed one game against his relatively higher-ranked Finnish opponent before going down 8-11, 6-11, 11-8, 6-11.
Chitale started off well against Romania’s Irina Ciobanu with a game lead. However she couldn’t capitalize on the momentum and lost the match 11-8, 9-11, 3-11, 8-11 against the World No. 98.
Achanta Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran have received direct entries into the men's singles main draw while 10 other Indians are playing in the qualifiers at the WTT Contender Doha.
The tournament, which kicks off the 2021 season, is also the first international tournament Indian players are participating in after the lockdown.