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Table Tennis

WTT Contender Tunisia: Sharath, Manika, Sathiyan advance, Sreeja suffers shock exit

Sreeja Akula's campaign ends with a shocking defeat; Manika Batra, Sharath Kamal, Sathiyan, and Thakkar advances to R16.

WTT Contender Tunisia: Sharath, Manika, Sathiyan advance, Sreeja suffers shock exit

Sreeja Akula is the Top-ranked Indian in Women's singles.


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 28 Jun 2024 9:05 AM GMT

World no.24 Sreeja Akula suffered a shock exit in the round of 32 at the 2024 WTT Contender in Tunisia, on Friday. The rest of the Indian contingent achieved notable successes in both the round of 32 in singles and the round of 16 in doubles category.

Mixed Results in Men’s Singles

Indian top-ranked singles players Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, Manav Thakkar, and Sharath Kamal advanced to the next round with relatively easy wins, except Thakkar, who had to fight hard for his victory against Edward of Canada.

After losing the first game, Thakkar dug deep and managed to secure a thrilling five-game victory 7-11, 11-8, 5-11, 12-10, 11-7.

Sharath Kamal had an easy outing against Eric Jouti of Brazil, breezing past him in three straight games. Sathiyan started with a comfortable two-game lead, but his opponent Fanbo Meng of Germany came back strongly to win the third game, forcing Sathiyan to clinch victory in the final game.

Meanwhile, Harmeet Desai lost to the lower-ranked Mizuki Oikawa of Japan 5-11, 1-11, 11-8, 5-11, while his compatriot Manush lost in straight games to Olympian Huang Yan-Cheng of Taiwan 8-11, 5-11, 10-12.

Disappointment for Akula

Sreeja Akula, who became the first Indian to win the WTT Contender Title in Lagos last week, bowed out after a hard-fought match against Kasumi Kimura of Japan.

After losing the first two games, the top seeded Indian recovered strongly to win the next two games and forced a decider but ultimately lost the final game (8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 9-11) to the Japanese.

Manika Batra, the second-highest-ranked Indian after Sreeja, had an easy encounter against Filippa Bergand of Sweden, winning in three straight games 11-5, 11-3, 11-0.

Meanwhile, Yashaswini Ghorpade also impressed with a straight games victory over Yoo Siwoo of Korea 11-7, 11-9, 11-1, and advanced to the next round.

Additionally, two other Indians met in this round: Diya Parag Chitale faced Ayhika Mukherjee, with the Diya Parag ending up defeating Ahyika 11-4, 11-2, 13-11.

Indian doubles pairs secure quarterfinal spots

All three categories in doubles, Men’s doubles, Women’s doubles, and Mixed doubles saw successes, advancing to the quarterfinals.

The Snejit/Manush pair gave a scare to the Sharath/Thakkar duo in the men's doubles category, but the latter eventually won after a thrilling five-game match 8-11, 13-11, 5-11, 11-9, 9-1.

Sreeja is still competing in the WTT Contender in the mixed doubles category, where she and Sathiyan had a comfortable win over the local contenders Adam/Suissi 11-8, 11-3, 11-9.

In women’s doubles, Manika/Archana had an easy outing against Taiwan's Huang/Wang pair 11-5, 11-6, 11-9.

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