India’s Manika Batra, Sreeja advanced to the pre-quarterfinals of Asian WTTC Continental Stage

The win kept alive Manika and Sreeja's hopes of making it to the World Championships to be held in Durban, South Africa in May 2023.
India’s Manika Batra, Sreeja advanced to the pre-quarterfinals of Asian WTTC Continental Stage

Indian paddlers Manika Batra and Sreeja Akula advanced to the pre-quarterfinals of the Asian WTTC Continental Stage at the Lusail Sports Complex, Doha on Tuesday.

India's national champion Sreeja defeated world number 21 Chen Szu-Yu of Chinese Taipei to advance to the pre-quarterfinals. After trailing 3-1, Sreeja made a brilliant comeback. It was a fine game to overcome the seasoned campaigner and register the biggest upset of the tournament. The 24-year-old from Hyderabad city started off on an impressive note winning the first game but then flattered as her opponent won the next three to take a runaway 3-1 lead. Sreeja, however, made a remarkable recovery to win the fifth, sixth, and deciding game in the seven-game encounter much to the delight of the small but vociferous supporters in the stands. She now will take on Miyu Nagasaki of Japan, who got a walkover over Chinese Taipei's Cheng I-Ching.

On the other hand, Manika recorded a comfortable 4–0 win over her Hong Kong opponent Zhu Chengzhu. After that, she move into the round of 16 where she will clash with Suthasini Sawettabut of Thailand. Suthasini got the better of Jingyi Zhou of Singapore 4-1 (11-2, 4-11, 11-6,11-4, 11-7). The win kept alive Manika and Sreeja's hopes of making it to the World Championships to be held in Durban, South Africa in May 2023.

Meanwhile, three other Indian women paddlers, Diya Chitale, Reeth Tennison, and Swastika Ghosh did not have a good day in the singles category. They crashed out of the Asian WTTC Continental Stage. Diya went down 1-4 (11-8, 11-4, 9-11, 11-4, 11-3) to Miu Hirano of Japan. While Reeth lost in straight games 0-4 (11-7, 11-5, 11-4, 11-3) to HIna Hayata of Japan. Swastika went down to Jihee Jeon of Korea also in straight games 0-4 (11-8, 11-7, 11-6, 11-5).

In the men's singles round of 32, Manush Utpal Shah and Harmeet Desai lost their respective matches and crashed out. Harmeet lost in straight games 0-4 (11-6, 11-8, 11-6, 11-7) to Zhendong Fan of China. While Manush went down also in straight games 4-0 (11-4, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5) to Jonghoon Lim of Korea.

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