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WTT Star Contender Doha: Manika-Archana pair enters medal round

India’s Manika Batra and Archana Kamath entered the medal round of the women’s doubles in the WTT Star Contender event after beating Soo Wai Yam Minnie and Lee Ho Ching of Hong Kong 3-1 in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.

The match picked up momentum in the first game itself. The Indians, ranked sixth, fought well to win it on extended points. But in the next, they lost after gaining a slender lead. Nevertheless, the duo did exceedingly well to put the loss behind and went 2-1 up before winning the fourth in what was a repeat of the first game.

The Indian pair, which won 13-11 8-11 11-5 13-11, will take on Taipei’s Li Yu-Jhun and Cheng I-Ching in the semifinals.

Manika-Archana into the semis! 🔥🔥

2nd seeds Manika Batra-Archana Kamath defeat Hong Kong’s Soo Wai-Lee Ho 3-1, and will now face the Taiwanese duo of Huang-Cheng for a shot at gold at the WTT Star Contender, Doha.

📸: @WTTGlobal #TableTennis 🏓

— The Bridge (@the_bridge_in) March 29, 2022

Unfortunately, Manika and G. Sathiyan failed to go past the first round when they lost 1-3 (7-11, 11-9, 7-11, 5-11) to Spaniards Maria Xiao and Alvaro Robles last night. The Indian mixed pair is ranked seventh while the Spaniards are 12 places behind them.

Earlier, Sharath Kamal and Manav Vikas Thakkar lost 1-3 their men’s doubles to Robles of Spain and Ovidiu Ionescu of Romania. Sharath lost his second-round match to Dang Qiu of Germany after leading 2-0 in the men’s singles. The German player of Chinese origin won 7-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-7.

In contrast, G. Sathiyan, trailing 0-2, overcame Mattias Falck of Sweden to enter the pre-quarterfinals. The highest-ranked Indian won 8-11, 3-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-6. In the pre-quarterfinals, Sathiyan will clash with another Swede, Kristian Karlsson.

Manika accounted for Germany’s Xiaona Shan, ranked 26th, in the round of 32 to advance to the next round. The Indian, ranked 48th, won 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9. Manika showed great character to come back after the first game’s loss and fought back with the higher-ranked German. Manika proved her mettle in the fourth game as she held on courageously to win the close fourth game.

She will next take on German Ying Han, who is ranked 17, in the pre-quarterfinals.

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