Indian paddlers assured of at least 2 silver medals in WTT Contender

NEW DELHI: Indian mixed doubles pair of Manav Thakkar and Archana Kamath and women’s doubles duo of Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee entered the finals of their respective table tennis events, assuring the country of at least two silver medals in the ongoing WTT Contender Muscat 2022.
Manav and Archana reached the mixed doubles final on Thursday night, beating Nandor Ecseki and Leila Imre of Hungary 11-9, 11-7, 11-5. They will play the Chinese duo of Wang Chuqin and Chen Xingtong in the final on Saturday.
In the all-Indian women’s doubles semifinals, Sutirtha and Ayhika did well to outwit Sreeja Akuka and Selenadeepthi Selvakumar 11-4, 11-6, 12-10.
In the summit clash on Saturday, Sutirtha and Ayhika will be up against China’s Qiyan Tiani and Chen Xingtong while Sreeja and Selenadeepthi finished their campaign with a well-deserving bronze medal.
The fancied Indian mixed doubles pair of G Sathiyan and Manika Batra, however, failed to take advantage of the first-round walkover and lost in their quarterfinals to Ecseki and Imre 9-11, 10-12, 12-10, 3-11.
In the women’s doubles, a combination of defence and attack helped Sutirtha and Ayhika outfox compatriots Sreeja and Selena.
Sitting pretty with a 2-0 lead, the winning pair was stretched a bit in the third game. However, Sutirta and Ayhika claimed the last two points after their rivals deuced.
In women’s singles, Manika entered the quarterfinals without any trouble. The world no 49 paddler upset no 23 Bernadette Szocs of Romania 11-3, 13-11, 11-8.
However, in the last-eight match against Kuai Man of China, ranked 287, Manika lost 9-11, 4-11, 3-11 to crash out of the contest.


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