The World Table Tennis Contender Budapest on Wednesday saw a successful showing for the Indian team, with star Indian paddler Manika Batra and Sreeja Akula making their way to the quarterfinals after a tough fight in the pre quarter finals.
Manika Batra, who went into the tournament sixth seeded, but was given a tough fight by Italy’s Giorgia Piccolin. The match was stretched to the very last set, as Batra started strong and took the first set 12-10. Piccolin took the second set 11-13. The tussle between the two continued as the Indian took the third set 11-5, but lost the next set 4-11.
Batra managed to seal the win the very last set winning 11-8, making her way to the quarterfinals of the World Table Tennis contender.
The star of the show however, was 23-year-old Sreeja Akula ranked 153, who won her round of 16 against the much higher ranked (53) Barbora Balazova of Slovakia. Akula dominated right from the beginning as she won in straight sets 11-9, 11-8, 13-11 in straight sets.
Akula and Batra are set to face off in an exciting all Indian clash in the quarterfinals.
World Table Tennis Contender Budapest 2021: Success for the Indian Mixed, Men’s Doubles
While G Sathiyan crashed out in the men’s single round of 16 against Niagol Stoyanov of Italy after a hard fought match, he found success in the mixed doubles.
The Pair of Sathiyan and Batra found success against the top seeds Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova of Slovakia as they won the quarterfinals 11-4, 3-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9. It has been the Indian duo’s first competition as a pair since the 2018 Commonwealth Games, where they clinched a historic bronze medal.
The men’s doubles pair of Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar won against the Indian duo of Jeet Chandra & Manav Shah 5-11, 11-7, 11-7, 13-11 in the round of 16 in an Indian clash.