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Table Tennis

Saudi Smash: Manika Batra shocks world no. 2 Wang Manyu, advances to R16

Manika Batra caught a big fish at the Saudi Smash on Monday by upsetting the world number 2 Chinese player, Wang Manyu.

Saudi Smash: Manika Batra shocks world no. 2 Wang Manyu, advances to R16

Manika Batra upset the second seeded, Wang Manyu of China at Saudi Smash 2024 (Photo Credit: World Table Tennis/X)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 8 May 2024 10:59 AM GMT

"The Jingling Indian, the Golden girl, has crapped this Chinese Jewel, Unbelievable," were the parting words of the commentators as the ace Indian paddler secured her biggest career victory against the world number 2, Wang Manyu of China at the Saudi Smash on Monday.

The 39th ranked Indian clinched a massive 3-1 (6-11, 11-5, 11-7, 12-10) victory against the Singapore Smash Champion Wang in a round of 32 clash that lasted a good 38 minutes at the Infinity Arena.

Manika didn't have a good start to the match as she lost the first game pretty comfortably following an excellent serving game from Wang, who dominated the game from the get-go and picked up a quick 5-0 lead.

Manika bounced back really well in the second game to take an early lead of 3-0, but then Wang came back with her attacks and leveled the game to 5-5. However, Manika grabbed some power-game to win six straight points and take a comfortable victory in the game to level the score.

Manika continued her aggressive shots in the third game and this time did not give any chance to Wang for a comeback, taking the lead in the match, 11-7. The fourth game was a very topsy-turvy game which went into deuce.

But Manika showed good composure to finish the game with a forward block on the right corner of Wang's table. She will now face a strong German player, Nina Mittelham, ranked 14, in the round of 16. Nina clinched her own four-game match against Singapore's Zeng Jian in R32.

In the women's doubles, Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee kicked off their tournament with a commanding 3-0 (11-7, 11-3, 11-4) victory against the Egyptian pairing of Marwa Alhodaby and Mariam Alhodaby.

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