Manika Batra crashed out of the women’s singles event in the World Table Tennis Championships Finals with a first round defeat, while Sathiyan Gnanasekaran advanced to the second round of the men’s singles here on Wednesday. Another top Indian player Sharath Kamal also bowed out of the men’s singles competition in the first round while Ayhika Mukherjee advanced to the women’s singles second round.
Gnanasekaran emerged as the lone Indian to win the men’s singles first round match.
Tokyo Olympian Batra, the country’s best-ranked women’s player, went down 3-4 (11-5, 15-13, 8-11, 4-11, 6-11, 11-4, 7-11) to Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi. Compatriots Sutirtha Mukherjee and Madhurika Patkar lost to South Korea’s Choi Hyo-joo (11-8, 4-11, 5-11, 0-11, 4-11) and Japan’s Saki Shibata (7-11, 4-11, 3-11, 8-11) respectively.
Ayhika Mukherjee was the lone Indian winner in women’s singles in contention as she beat Egypt’s Farah Abdel-Aziz 4-2 (11-7, 14-16, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6). She will now face Japan’s Hina Hayata, the current world No 18, in the round of 64.
Batra has paired up with Sathiyan in the mixed doubles and the duo got a bye in the round of 64. Batra and Archana Kamath have also got a first round bye in women’s doubles.
In the men’s singles, Tokyo Olympian Gnanasekaran beat Ukraine’s Yaroslav Zhmudenko 4-0 (11-2, 11-9, 11-4, 11-3) in the men’s singles opening round to set up a clash against Table Tennis Federation of Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko in the round of 64.
All the other three Indian men’s singles players — Sharath Kamal, Anthony Amalraj and Harmeet Desai — lost their respective first round matches. The four-time Olympian Sharath Kamal lost to Belgium’s Cedric Nuytinck 1-4 (11-9, 5-11, 6-11, 7-11, 9-11) while Harmeet Desai was blanked 0-4 (9-11, 7-11, 7-11, 4-11) by Germany’s Benedikt Duda. Amalraj went down to Nigeria’s Bode Abiodun 3-4 (6-11, 11-5, 11-5, 8-11, 12-10, 9-11, 6-11).
Sharath Kamal is still in the fray in the mixed doubles as he and Archana Kamath beat the Algerian pair of Sami Kherouf and Katia Kessaci 3-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-7) to make it to the second round. Sharath Kamal has also paired up with Sathiyan in men’s doubles and the duo got a first round bye.