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Table Tennis: Sharath, Sathiyan and Batra record contrasting victories in WTT Star Contender
New Delhi, March 8, 2021
Ace paddlers Achanta Sharath Kamal, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra started their campaign at the WTT Star Contender with contrasting victories in Doha on Monday.
Sathiyan, Sharath Kamal and Batra received direct entries into the singles draw at the ongoing tournament.
Sharath Kamal took time to find his rhythm as he lost the first game against Puerto Rican Brian Afanador. However, the World No. 32 recovered well to gain the required momentum and won next three games to win the match 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-1. The Indian will face World No. 16 Patrick Franziska of Germany in the next round on Tuesday.
World No. 37 Sathiyan staged a fine come-from-behind win. He lost the first two games but made a remarkable comeback with a counter attacking display and pulled off a sensational 9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-4 victory against his French opponent Emmanuael Lebesson.
He takes on World No. 5 Japanese paddler Tomokazu Harimoto in the next round.
In a women’s singles opening round match, Commonwealth Games gold medalist Batra notched up a comfortable straight-set 11-5, 11-9, 11-9 victory against Chinese Taipei’s Hsein-Tzu Cheng. Her next round opponent is World No. 3 Mima Ito of Japan.
Earlier in the first qualifying round of men’s singles, Anthony Amalraj suffered a 6-11, 11-9, 3-11, 7-11 defeat against Mizuki Oikawa of Japan while Harmeet Desai lost to Ukraine’s Yevhen Pryshchepa 10-12, 9-11, 11-13, 9-11.
In the women’s singles qualifiers, Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ahyika Mukherjee lost their respective matches. Sutirtha lost the hard-fought match 11-9, 11-6, 5-11, 9-11, 9-11 to Hayeong Kim of Korea, while Ayhika suffered a straight game 5-11, 11-13, 7-11 loss against Irina Ciobanu of Romania.