WTT Star Contender Budapest: Indian paddlers look to fine tune their game ahead of CWG (preview)

With less than three weeks to go for the Commonwealth Games 2022, Indian table tennis players will look to fine tune their game at the WTT Star Contender Budapest 2022, starting on Monday.

India’s CWG-bound table tennis players Manika Batra, Sreeja Akula, Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran will compete at the WTT Star Contender, which will conclude on July 23.

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, world No 35, is India’s only direct entry in the men’s singles main draw while World No 39 Sharath Kamal will have to work his way up from the qualifiers in Budapest. Sathiyan and Sharath, the two top-ranked Indian men’s players, will also be pairing up for the doubles event.

On the other hand, Indian table tennis ace Manika Batra, ranked 41st, is slotted in the main draw of singles and will team up with Archana Kamath in the women’s doubles.

The Manika-Archana duo, fourth in the world rankings, won bronze at the WTT Star Contender Doha, earlier this year. However, India’s best chance for a medal in Budapest, lies with the mixed doubles pair of Manika Batra and G Sathiyan. The mixed doubles duo is ranked sixth in the world and is seeded fourth in WTT Star Contender Budapest.

The duo will also be India’s best medal prospect at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8.

The remaining four members of the CWG-bound Indian team – Harmeet Desai, Sanil Shetty, Diya Chitale and Reeth Rishya – are not playing in Budapest.

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