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Table Tennis

ITTF World Cup Macao: Sreeja Akula, Manika Batra make group stage exit

Indian campaign at the ITTF World Cup for men's and women's singles came to an end after both Manika Batra and Sreeja Akula made group stage exit.

ITTF World Cup Macao: Sreeja Akula, Manika Batra make group stage exit

Manika Batra and Sreeja Akula exited from the ITTF World Cup Macao in the group stage. 


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 17 April 2024 10:43 AM GMT

Indian campaign at ITTF World Cup came to an end after both Manika Batra and Sreeja Akula exited from the competition after losing their respective second group stage clashes against the top Chinese paddlers, Wang Manyu and defending champion Chen Meng at the Galaxy Arena in Macao on Wednesday.

Sreeja conceded an easy 1-3 (4-11, 4-11, 13-15, 2-11) defeat to the defending champion and world no.4, Chen Meng of China while Manika Batra went down 0-4 (6-11, 4-11, 9-11, 4-11) fighting against world no.2, Wang Manyu, also from China.

Chen played an excellent game right from the start and put pressure on Sreeja's weak backhand with her swift and speedy hand movement. Sreeja could not handle this pressure from Chen and crumbled under pressure. She made a few errors to concede the first two games.

In the third game, Sreeja staged a great comeback and made full use of Chen's frequent errors. She also saved two game points to force a deuce after intense rallies and clinched the game 15-13.

Chen recovered well from the setback and showed her class in the final game with a bit more extra power to completely dominate the game. She eventually confirmed her victory. This was Chen's second back-to-back win in the tournament, she now progressed to the Round of 16.

Sreeja finished second in the group with one victory and a defeat, but could not proceed to the next round as only the group winner is eligible to proceed to the knockout round. Despite the loss, Sreeja gained a significant 40 ranking points which will help her overtake Manika Batra to become India's latest no.1.

Manika had a way tougher match in her second group stage clash against in-form Wang, who started strong with her forehand smashes to grab an early lead of 4-1 in the first game. Manika then pulled back things with her favourite forward pushes but an excellent defensive display from Wang helped her clinch the game.

Wang came with the same defensive tactics in the second game which drew multiple errors from Manika. Manika tried to use more of her backhand in the third game and effectively retrieved some of Wang's return and reached a good lead of 9-7. But then an unlucky net deflection broke her momentum which was followed by a service error, helping Wang confirm her victory.

In the final game, there was nothing much for Manika as she was still in her thoughts of those misses in the third game and suffered a group stage exit from the competition.

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