April 23, 2019 6:30:20 pm
Indian qualifier Suthirta Mukherjee dug deep into her resources to tame German world number 58 Sabine Winter 4-3 while superstar Manika Batra savoured an easy win in the women’s singles first round of the ITTF World Championships here Tuesday.
CWG gold medallist Manika beat Andrea Todorovic of Serbia 14-12, 11-5, 11-5, 11-8, in the round of 64. Suthirta, who is ranked 502 in the world, used strong backhand counters to win 8-11, 17-15, 11-9, 5-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6 against the attacking 26-year-old German. The 23-year-old, who is ranked No. 3 in India, was part of the gold-winning women squad at the CWG in Gold Coast.
However, Archana Kamath and Madhurika Patkar bowed out of the women singles race after making it to the round of 128 Manika, the world No. 56 Indian was rusty in her opening game but picked up momentum to dispose of the Serbian qualifier, ranked No. 135, in quick time after the extended first game. Manika will meet Chen Szu-Yu of Taipei in her next round.
Archana, who played her third consecutive tough match, lost 11-8, 11-8, 19-17, 8-11, 6-11, 7-11, 4-11 to Egypt’s Dina Meshref after leading 3-0.
The energy-sapping third game, which Archana won 19-17, took its toll as the Indian could not stop the marauding Egyptian who picked up the gauntlet to emerge winners.
Madhurika Patkar began well but failed to sustain against Austria’s Amelie Solja as the world no. 65 downed the Indian 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 13-11.
Earlier in the day, the Manika combined well with Archana Kamath to beat Konstantina Paridi and Aikaterini Toliou of Greece 11-5, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 to enter women doubles round of 32 where they will take on Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato.
However, the second Indian pair of Madhurika Patkar and Suthirtha Mukehrjee lost to the Canadian-Spanish combine of Mo Zhang and Maria Xiao 2-11, 11-6, 13-15, 8-11, 8-11 to bow out.
Among other doubles events, only the mixed pair of G. Sathiyan and Archana Kamath entered pre-quarterfinals, beating Spaniards Alvaro Robles and Galia Dvorak 11-9, 11-4, 11-8, 11-13, 11-9.
However, the Sharath and Manika pair exited when the Indians lost tamely to the Polish pair of Marek Bodowski and Natalia Bajor 14-12 6-11 5-11 6-11 3-11.
In the men’s doubles, both Indian pairs – Sharath and Sathiyan and Amalraj and Manav lost the first round of the main draw.
Sathiyan and Sharath lost to Iran’s Nima Alamian and Noshad Alamiyan 4-2 while Manav and Amalraj went down to Singapore’s Clarence Zhe Yu Chew and Ethan Shao Feng Poh 4-1.
Amalraj failed to make the main draw cut as he bowed out in the preliminary round to Tom Jarvis of England. The latter won the tough battle 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3.
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