July 24, 2021 10:09:54 pm
India’s Manika Batra and Sutirtha Mukherjee moved into the second round of the women’s singles event of the Tokyo Olympic Games at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Friday.
In her second round on Saturday, Sutirtha will take on Chinese-born Yu Fu of Portugal, while Manika will play Ukraine’s Margaryta Pesotska, ranked 32.
Yu Fu, 42, is a gold medal winner of the 2019 Minsk European Games. This is the second appearance of the Chinese-born Yu Fu who crashed out in the second round in the previous 2016 Rio Olympics.
Sutirtha who is ranked world No. 95, scored a facile win over Linda Bergstrome (ranked 78) of Sweden 5-11, 11-9, 11-13, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-5.
For the top-ranked Indian, Manika it was an easy out in the first outing against Ho Tin-Tin of Great Britain 11-7, 11-6, 12-10, 11-9.
This first round win by the two Indians was the first in the Olympics since 1992 Bracelona Games.
In the mixed doubles, the Manika-Sharath Kamal duo went down to the third-seeded pair of Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Chin from Chinese Taipei 8-11, 6-11, 5-11, 4-11.
An upset Sharath was quoted by Table the Tennis Federation of India website, “We failed to build pressure. You need to do that often against good opponents.”
In the men’s singles second round, Sharath, ranked 32, will take on world-ranked 56 Tiago Apolonia of Portugal who defeated Olajide Omotayo of Nigeria 11-7, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5, while Sathiyan, ranked 38, will meet Lam Siu Hang (ranked 95) of Hong Kong who prevailed over Brian Afanador of Puerto Rico 7-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-6, 11-4, 12-14, 11-8. Both the Indians received byes in the first round.
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