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Table Tennis

ITTF World Cup: Manika, Sreeja start with a win in opening encounters

Top Indian paddlers Manika Batra and Sreeja Akula started their campaign at the ITTF World Cup with a win in their opening fixture.

ITTF World Cup: Manika, Sreeja start with a win in opening encounters

Sreeja Akula and Manika Batra are India's top ranked women's singles players. 


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 17 April 2024 5:24 AM GMT

Top Indian female paddlers, Manika Batra and Sreeja Akula started their campaign with a win in the opening fixture at the ITTF World Cup in Galaxy Arena at Macao on Tuesday.

Sreeja took a comfortable 4-0 (11-9, 11-6, 11-5, 11-5) victory over world no.52, Natalia Bajor of Poland while Manika Batra came from one game down to clinch a 3-1 (9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8) victory against world no.46, Adina Diaconu of Roumania.

Sreeja played an excellent game against Bajor who was struggling to return Sreeja's powerful forward smashes on the table. Sreeja started a little slowly in the match and made a few errors in the first game but somehow managed to grab it, 11-9.

There was no looking back for her after that and she started dominating the rallies and found accurate angles on the table on her forward return which was very tough for Bajor to retrieve. This was Bajor's second back-to-back loss in the tournament, ending her journey here in Macao.

Sreeja is high on confidence with this sizzling victory but has a very tough task on hand tomorrow against world no. 4, Chen Meng of China. The winner of the match will progress through to the knockout round of 16.

Manika had a little tougher match in her opening encounter against Adina, who started strong with her smashes to grab the first game with 11-9. Manika quickly came back into the match with her aggressive play to take the next two games.

She used her reach very well in those games to find some accurate wide shots on the table. In the final game, both players were not on their par and made many mistakes on their forehand strokes and missed many chances but Manika held her composure in the end to close the match with a win.

Manika will take on world no.2, Wang Manyu in the final group game tomorrow to book a place in the next round. This is a very important tournament for all the singles players before the Paris Olympics.

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