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Table Tennis

WTT Star Contender Goa: Manika/Sathiyan reaches quarters, Sharath Kamal bows out

Manika Batra/Sathiyan Gnanasekaran reached mixed doubles quarter-finals of WTT Star Contender Goa while veteran Sharath Kamal bowed out.

WTT Star Contender Goa: Manika/Sathiyan reaches quarters, Sharath Kamal bows out
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Manika Batra and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran missed the Paris Olympics Quota in Mixed Doubles

By

Press Release

Updated: 1 March 2023 4:35 PM GMT

Star Indian women’s paddler Manika Batra led the Indian performance with three wins across formats as main draw engagements in the World Table Tennis (WTT) Star Contender Goa, got underway here at the Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium.

Manika first won her women’s singles round of 64 matches and then successively partnered Archana Kamath and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, to reach the quarter-finals of the women’s and mixed doubles respectively, in her first appearance at a home WTT tournament. Sutirtha Mukherjee was the other Indian to win all her matches on the day, emerging triumphant in the women’s singles and doubles respectively.

However, in what will be heartbreak for home fans, Indian legend Achanta Sharath Kamal bowed out of the tournament after going down in both his singles and doubles matches.

In the morning session, Sharath and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran lost their men’s doubles round of 16 matches to Koreans Jaehyun An and Seungmin Cho 3-1 (11-6,11-7,7-11,11-8). Then in the final match of the day, rising Kazakh star Kirill Gerassimenko defeated the reigning Commonwealth Games champion in straight games (3-0: 11-8,11-7,11-8) to break Indian hearts.

“I am really happy that this tournament WTT Star Contender is happening for the first time in India. The home crowd is here, and I am really happy that people will come to cheer me and cheer all the Indian players. Today I won my singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. Mixed doubles were tough as we have lost against them twice before. But this time we won, and I am really happy with that win. Let's see what happens in this tournament. I’ll give my 100% and my best for my country and myself”. - Manika Batra (with Sathyan G) post their mixed double win against Shin Yubin and Lim Jonghoon (Korea Republic).

In the women’s doubles, two Indian pairs won while three others tasted defeat. Apart from Manika and Archana and Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee, the others could not make much headway.

In the mixed doubles, two Indian pairs, Wesley Do Rosario and Suhana Saini and Manav Thakkar and Archana Kamath lost to more accomplished and experienced opponents in the round of 16 itself.

In the men’s singles, Sathiyan took out a fighting Harmeet Desai in four games. He won the first easily at 11-4, but Harmeet came back to win the second 10-12 and then the third also went more than the distance as Sathiyan took it 13-11, before closing out the fourth at 11-9.

In the women’s singles, other Indian players Sreeja Akula, Yashaswini Ghorpade, and Suhana Saini lost while Surirtha Mukherjee joined Manika Batra in the next round.

Three Indian men’s doubles pairs including that of Sharath and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran lost their round of 16 matches to be eliminated from the tournament.

The only Indian pair to win on the day was that of Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar, who put it across fellow Indians Ronit Bhanja and Jeet Chandra 3-2 (9-11,11-8,8-11,11-6,11-5) in five close games.

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