Suthirta defeats Sabine, joins Manika in round 64

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Budapest, April 23 (IANS) India’s Suthirta Mukherjee scripted a 4-3 win in what was the biggest women singles upset in the ITTF World Championships at Budapest when she sent world No. 58 Sabine Winter of Germany packing on Tuesday.

In the process, she joined Manika Batra, who had an easy first-round outing against Andrea Todorovic of Serbia 14-12, 11-5, 11-5, 11-8, in the round of 64. But Archana Kamath and Madhurika Patkar bowed out of women singles race after making it to the round of 128.

Suthirta, ranked 502 in the world, used strong backhand counters to win 8-11, 17-15, 11-9, 5-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6 against an attacking 26-year-old German. The 23-year-old, ranked No. 3 in India, was part of the gold-winning women squad at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.

Manika, the world No. 56, was rusty in her opening game but picked up pace to dispose of the Serbian qualifier, ranked No. 135, in quick time after the extended first game. Manika will meet Chen Szu-Yu of Taipei in next round.

Archana, playing her third consecutive tough match, lost 11-8, 11-8, 19-17, 8-11, 6-11, 7-11, 4-11 to Egypt’s Dina Meshref after leading 3-0. The energy-sapping third game, which Archana won 19-17, took its toll as the Indian could not stop the marauding Egyptian who picked up the gauntlet to emerge winners.

Madhurika began well but failed to sustain against Austria’s Amelie Solja as the world No. 65 downed the Indian 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 13-11.

Earlier in the day, Manika combined well with Archana to beat Konstantina Paridi and Aikaterini Toliou of Greece 11-5, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 to enter women doubles round of 32 where they will take on Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato. But the second Indian pair of Madhurika and Suthirta lost to the Canadian-Spanish combine of Mo Zhang and Maria Xiao 2-11, 11-6, 13-15, 8-11, 8-11.

Among other doubles events, only the mixed pair of G. Sathiyan and Archana entered pre-quarterfinals, beating Spaniards Alvaro Robles and Galia Dvorak 11-9, 11-4, 11-8, 11-13, 11-9. Earlier in R 64, the duo accounted for the Netherland’s Laurens Tromer and Britt Eerland 11-8, 14-12, 11-9, 11-3. Next in their line of firing would be the Korean pair of Lee Sangsu and Jihee Jeon, winner of the 2018 ITTF’s World Tour Mixed doubles title.

However, the pair of Sharath and Manika made its exit in the round of 64 itself when the Indians lost to the Polish pair of Marek Bodowski and Natalia Bajor 14-12, 6-11, 5-11, 6-11, 3-11.

In men doubles, both Indian pairs — Sharath & Sathiyan and Amalraj & Manav — exit the first round of the main draw. Sathiyan and Sharath lost to Iran’s Nima Alamian and Noshad Alamiyan 4-2, while Manav and Amalraj went down to Singapore’s Clarence Zhe Yu Chew and Ethan Shao Feng Poh 4-1.

On Monday night, Amalraj failed to make to the main draw as he bowed out in the preliminary round to Tom Jarvis of England. The latter won the match 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3.

–IANS

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