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Table Tennis

WTT Contender Muscat: Archana and Sreeja make cut

Archana Kamath and Sreeja Akula will join Manika Batra, who got a direct entry into the round of 32.

Archana Kamath has moved court recently against the TTFI

Archana Kamath has moved court recently against the TTFI's team selection for the Commonwealth Games (Source: WTT)



Updated: 2 March 2022 12:34 PM GMT

Indian paddlers Archana Kamath and Sreeja Akula qualified for the women's singles main draw of the WTT Contender Muscat 2022. They will join Manika Batra, who got a direct entry into the round of 32.

In the men's singles, however, none of the five players made it to the main draw. It leaves G Sathiyan, another direct entrant into the second stage, to fight for India's honours. He will clash with 16-year-old Chinese Lin Shidong in the round of 32.

In the third round of the qualifiers, Archana defeated Oze Yilmaz 11-8 5-11 12-10 11-7. The 145th ranked player from Turkey managed to take the second game off Archana and came close in the third at 10-10. But the 99th ranked Indian saw through the crucial phase to stamp her authority. In the main draw, she will take on higher-ranked (No 42) Mo Zhang of China in the round of 32. Sreeja, in her third-round triumph (11-5 11-13 12-10 11-4) over Yang Huijing, had to endure good resistance from the 223rd ranked Chinese. The Indian paddler, ranked 111, won the third game 12-10 before closing out on her rival.

Sreeja will meet Jia Nan Yuan, a player of Chinese origin, representing France in her next round. Young Diya Chitale put up a good fight against Shi Xunyao, also from China, before losing 7-11 4-11 11-9 18-16 11-8. The Mumbai girl, down 0-2, picked up well but eventually lost in the decider. But Reeth Rishya and Sutirtha Mukherjee went down in the second round even as veteran Madhurika Patkar failed in the first. World no 49 Manika Batra will enter the fray for the first time, along with two other Indians, later this evening. She will clash with Lin Ye (No 62) from Singapore.

As for India's male paddlers, only Manav Thakkar (No 133) managed to enter the fourth round of qualification. However, he lost to 387th ranked Yuan Licen of China 12-10 11-5 11-6 11-13. Harmeet Desai, Sanil Shetty and Manush Shah exited in the third round, while Anthony Amalraj bowed out in the second round. India received a double jolt when the second-seeded pair of G Sathiyan and Harmeet Desai first went down to Taipei duo of Peng Wang-Wei and Chuang Chih-Yuan 2-3 (11-7 10-12 4-11 13-11 9-11), followed by the exit of Manika Batra and Archana Kamath, also seeded second. They lost to the Hungarian pair of Leila Imre and Mercedes Nagyvaradi 7-11 9-11 6-11.

But success came for Manush Shah and Manav Thakkar, who posted a hard-fought 7-11 11-3 6-11 11-7 14-12 win against Brazil's Eric Jouti and Vitor Ishiy. They will now run into the same Taipei pair that beat Sathiyan and Desai in the quarterfinals. More surprise, however, was in store for India when Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee combined well to upset the top-seeded Diaz siblings, Adriana and Melanie of Puerto Rico, 11-6 11-5 11-9. They will meet Zdena Blaskova and Katerina Tomanovska of the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals On Thursday.

Sreeja and Selena Deepti Selvakumar paired up to beat the Singaporean duo of Lin Ye and Zeng Jian 11-8 5-11 13-11 5-11 11-4 in round of 16. They await a quarterfinal showdown against Goi Rui Xuan and Wong Xin Ru, also from Singapore.

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