World Table Tennis Contender: Manika, Harmeet start with wins

Doha, March 1 : Commonwealth Games (CWG) gold medallist Manika Batra on Monday began her campaign the World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender on a winning note here.

Manika, 25, who won two gold medals at the 2018 Gold Coast CWG, registered a 12-10, 14-12, 11-8 win over Sofia-Xuan Zhang of Spain in her first-round match of the women’s singles event.

Asian Games medallist Harmeet Desai, too, had a good start as he defeated compatriot Anthony Amalraj 11-5, 12-10, 11-6 to progress to the third round of men’s singles qualifiers.

However, it wasn’t a good day for Sutirtha Mukherjee, Mudit Dani, and Diya Chitale as they suffered defeats in their singles qualifying round matches.

Mukherjee, a former national champion, failed to get the better of Ukraine’s Tetyana Bilenko 5-11, 3-11, 12-10, 9-11 while 200th ranked Dani found the going tough against world No.85 Olah Benedek of Finland.

Dani won the first game, but couldn’t sustain his efforts and lost the contest 8-11, 6-11, 11-8, 6-11.

Diya too started off well against Romania’s Irina Ciobanu, winning the opening game. But as the match progressed she couldn’t capitalise on her chances and lost the match 11-8, 9-11, 3-11, 8-11 against world No.98 Irina.

India’s world No.32 Achanta Sharath Kamal and newly-crowned national champion Sathiyan Gnanasekaran have received direct entries into the men’s singles main draw.

Other Indians in fray are playing in the qualifiers. The tournament is the first international competition of theyear after the lockdown due to pandemic.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.