CWG star Manika stuns World No. 18 in UTT
Pune, June 17 (PTI) Table tennis sensation Manika Batra today shocked World No. 18 Sofia Polcanova in a thrilling duel to give Dabang Smashers TTC an early lead against Warriors TTC in the Ceat Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) here today.
The sizeable weekend crowd that had turned up at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi to cheer the CWG star got their money's worth as the 23-year-old upstaged the Austrian, ranked 62 spots higher 2-1 (11-10, 5-11, 11-10).
Two of the three games were decided by the golden point' with the 80th-ranked Indian serving on both occasions to squeeze in the winners. She served well and was quite effective with her backhand that earned her five points. In all, she gained 14 points on serve to unsettle her left-handed rival.
Manika had won a record four medals at the Gold Coast Games including two gold.
Another crowd favourite Sharath Kamal, however, failed to get past Japanese Yoshida Masaki (World No. 27) with the Warriors captain going down 1-2 (11-7, 8-11, 8-11) in a highly entertaining battle that was peppered with long rallies.
The 35-year-old Indian's loss meant Warriors had lost both their opening singles and Dabang had gained a 4-2 lead on points