Indian women’s doubles pair of Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee were knocked out of the 2022 WTT Contender Doha table tennis tournament after losing their last match in the qualifiers, here on Sunday.
The in-form pair of Sutirtha and Ayhika, who had won silver at the WTT Contender in Muscat earlier this month, went down to Slovenia’s Katarina Strazar and Ana Tofant 2-3 (7-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-7,12-14) at the Lusail Sports Arena in a hard-fought contest.
Apart from the doubles, Tokyo Olympian Sutirtha Mukherjee also failed to move into the main draw in singles. After winning against Leili Mostafavi 3-1 and Tatiana Kukulkova 3-2, Sutirtha was beaten by China’s Yang Huijing 3-0.
The women’s doubles pair of Sreeja Akula and Selena Selvakumar, bronze medallists in Muscat, was blanked by Koh Kai Xin Pearlyn and Zhang Wanling in the first round of the qualifiers. On the other hand, Harmeet Desai, Manav Thakkar, Mudit Dani and Snehit Suravajjula also lost their qualifiers in men’s singles, an olympics.com report said.
In the main draw starting on Monday, world No 33 Sathiyan Gnanasekaran will be accompanied by world No 34 Sharath Kamal in men’s singles while women’s player Manika Batra, ranked 46, will be the only Indian challenge in the women’s singles.
Tokyo Olympians — G Sathiyan and Manika Batra, ranked world No 10 in mixed doubles, will look to bounce back after missing out at the inaugural WTT Grand Smash in Singapore.
Manav Thakkar will be teaming up with Archana Kamath for India’s second pair in mixed doubles. The duo won the silver at the WTT Contender in Muscat.
Among the other Indians who faltered in the women’s singles in the qualifiers were Ayhika Mukherjee, Archana Kamath, Sreeja Akula, Krittwika Roy, Selena Selvakumar, Swastika Ghosh and Prapti Sen.