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Table Tennis

Saudi Smash: Manika Batra loses to world number 5 in quarter-final

World number five Hina Hayata of Japan defeated Manika Batra 4-1 in the quarter-final of the Saudi Smash 2024.

Manika Batra Table Tennis

File photo: Manika Batra in action at Ultimate Table Tennis.


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 9 May 2024 4:24 PM GMT

World number five Hina Hayata of Japan ended the giant-killing run of Manika Batra in the Saudi Smash 2024 after defeating her 3-1 in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

In a match that went for 39 minutes, Hayata came back after losing the first game to win four straight games ending Manika's journey in the tournament.

Manika lost 1-4 (11-7, 6-11, 11-13, 2-11).

The Indian paddler started well after winning the first game but was clueless once Hina found her rhythm back.

The Indian entered the quarterfinals, backing herself to put it past Hayata as she had upset the Japanese to win a historic bronze in the Asia Cup back in 2022. But the result did not go in her favour this time.

Nevertheless, Manika Batra displayed supreme form in the tournament and defeated multiple players ranked above her.

After stunning world number two Wang Manyu in the second round, Batra extended her red-hot form with a 11-6 11-9 11-7 win over her over World number 14 Nina Mittelham of Germany on Wednesday.

This was Batra's first win over Mittelham in four attempts.

With a good run in the tournament, Manika Batra is expected to gain ranking points and enter the top 25 world rankings in women's singles.

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