India were off to a disappointing start in the singles event at the World Table Tennis Championships on Tuesday (November 23). The event took place at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, USA.
No Indian paddler except Gnanasekaran Sathiyan and Ayhika Mukherjee in men’s and women’s singles respectively could manage to advance to the next round.
Sathiyan began his World Table Tennis Championship campaign in dominating fashion. The Tamil Nadu paddler, who entered the competition on the back of a gold medal-winning performance at the WTT Contenders Tunis, thrashed Yarusav Zhmudenko of Sweden in straight sets. He won 4-0 with the score of 11-2, 11-9, 11-4, 11-3 to advance to the next round.
Sathiyan, the world No. 37, will next face Vladimir Sidorenko of Russia.
However, the other Indian men’s paddlers could not carry the momentum and were knocked out on the first day of the World Table Tennis Championship.
Amalraj Anthony came close to advancing to the next round but the challenge from Nigeria’s Bode Abiodun was too much for the Indian. He lost 3-4 in a nerve-wracking match.
Harmeet Desai and Achanta Sharath Kamal struggled in their respective fixtures. Harmeet lost 0-4 against world No.45 Benedikt Duda of Germany. Sharath, on the other hand, lost to Cedric Nuytinck of Germany 1-4.
Nonetheless, Sharath Kamal’s campaign at the World Table Tennis Championship is still alive as he progressed to the next round in mixed doubles. Partnering with Archana Kamath, Sharath defeated a pair of Sami Kherouf and Katia Kessaci 3-0.
Manika Batra out, Ayhika Mukherjee advances in women’s singles at world table tennis championship
In women’s singles, India’s top paddlers Manika Batra and Sutirtha Mukherjee bowed out of the competition.
Manika Batra looked in good touch early in the game and took the lead in the first two sets. However, she went on to lose the next three sets of the game against Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi. Batra managed to outclass the Brazilian paddler in the sixth set but could not carry the momentum forward in the deciding set.
Sutirtha Mukherjee, on the other hand, was poor in her opening game. Despite winning the first set, she lost the next four against Choi Hyojoo of Korea. The Indian table tennis player even failed to open the scoring in the fourth set.
However, there was some good news in women’s singles as Ayhika Mukherjee beat Egypt’s Farah Abdel-Aziz 4-2.
World Table Tennis Championship results
Sathiyan vs Yaruslav Zhmudenko (Swe) 4-0
Amalraj Anthony vs Bode Abiodun (NIG) 3-4
Harmeet Desia vs Benedikt Duda (GER) 0-4
Sharath Kamal vs Cedric Nuytinck (GER) 1-4
Madhurika Patkar vs Saki Shibata (JAP) 0-4
Manika Batra vs Bruna Takahashi (BRA) 3-4
Sutirtha Mukherjee vs Choi Hyojoo (KOR) 1-4
Ayhika Mukherjee vs Farah Abdel-Aziz (EGY) 4-2
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Sharath Kamal/ Archana Kamath vs Sami Kherouf/ Katia Kessaci 3-0