Ace Indian paddler Manika Batra has achieved career-best rankings, a new milestone. The 26-year-old jumped 10 places to occupy the 38 spot with 540 points in the latest International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) women's singles rankings.
Manika, along with other Indian paddlers, have seen constant improvement in their rankings in the last couple of months. This certainly assures that Indian table tennis is moving in the right direction.
In addition to the singles rankings, Manika has also seen a boost in the women's doubles as well as mixed doubles rankings. She and Archana Kamath improved one place to be ranked world no. 4 with 1399 points in the women's doubles section, bettering their previous best.
The women's doubles duo won the bronze medal at the WTT Star Contender Table Tennis tournament in Doha in March.
Meanwhile, top Indian mixed doubles pair Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika moved up one spot. They have now reached a career-best sixth spot in the mixed doubles rankings with 1614 points.
Among other top Indian paddlers, Sathiyan moved up by five places to be placed 34 on the charts in the men's singles category. The 29-year-old pulled off one of the biggest wins of his career a few weeks ago. He outplayed Sweden's Mattias Falck 3-2 in the second round of the WTT Star Contender Table Tennis tournament.
Meanwhile, Achanta Sharath Kamal bettered just one place to sit in the 38 position. Speaking about his latest win, the 39-year-old backed himself to pull off a stunning comeback. He will look to humble Sathiyan to clinch his 10th in the men’s singles National Table Tennis title.
Sathiyan and Sharath are the only two male players in the top-100 ITTF rankings.
ITTF removes "initial points" for the paddlers
The sudden jump in the Indian paddlers rankings in the list comes after the ITTF decided to remove the "initial points". The initial points were introduced in 2020, to determine the rankings.
In a statement, the ITTF said:
"In 2020, a transition phase was implemented to adapt the Ranking to the new WTT events’ structure. Thus "initial points" were introduced, adding a fixed number of points to the best eight results gained; the initial value was 80 per cent of a player’s total points in December 2020."
The statement further read:
"Due to Covid-19 and the difficulty to organise events, the "initial points" were maintained for a longer period and reduced at a slower pace. As of January 2022, they had been reduced to 20 per cent. The total number of events in 2021 and 2022 has afforded players the opportunity to gain ranking points. Removing the "initial points" allows players who performed well in recent tournaments to climb the listings and gain entry to higher tier events."