WTT Contenders: Manika and Sutirtha in Round of 16

Indian women’s table tennis players Manika Batra and Sutirtha Mukherjee stormed into the last 16 stage of the World Table Tennis Contender Championship after beating their higher-ranked rivals, here on Thursday. The biggest upset of the day came in the name of 20-year-old Korean youth Cho Daeseong who defeated world number one Fan Zhendong of China in the men’s singles. Manika defeated world number 14 Adriana Diaz of Puerto Rico 3-1. The Indian star won 11-9, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8.

Surtitha, currently ranked 146, defeated world number 18 Gia Nan Yuan of France 3-0 (11-7,11-8,11-7) in the morning session. Manika will next face world number 20 Qian Tianyi of China while Sutirtha will take on another experienced Fu Yu, ranked 19th. Manika bowed out in doubles and mixed doubles. Manika and Archana Kamat lost 1-3 to Cheng E Ching and Li Yu Jun in the doubles quarterfinals.

In the women’s doubles event, Indian hopes ended after Ayhika and Sutirtha went down 1-3 to Sweden’s Linda Bergstrom and Kristina Kalberg. In men’s doubles, Korea’s Lim Jonghoon and Jang Woojin defeated India’s Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar 3-1 (12-10,11-8,7-11,11-6). In the mixed doubles, the pair of Manika and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran bowed out in the quarterfinals. They lost 0–3 in straight games to Japan’s Miwa Harimoto and Shunsuke Togami.

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