Sathiyan, Sharath and Manika enter WTT second round in DohaMarch 9, 2021
Ace Indian paddlers Achanta Sharath Kamal, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra started their campaign at the WTT Star Contender Doha on a winning note by progressing into the second round of their respective singles categories, here on Monday.
The Melbourne Commonwealth Games champion Sharath Kamal struggled in the initial stages as he lost the first game against Brian Afanador before recovering well to seal the match 8-11 11-8 11-7 11-1 against the Puerto Rican in the first round.
World No. 32 Sharath will face world No. 16 Patrick Franziska of Germany in the next round on Tuesday.
World No. 37 Sathiyan was also trailing 0-2 in his opening match before making a remarkable comeback to pull off a sensational 9-11 7-11 11-7 11-4 11-4 victory against his French opponent Emmanuael Lebesson.
Sathiyan will now face world No. 5 Japanese paddler Tomokazu Harimoto.
In the women’s singles opening round, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Batra notched up a comfortable 11-5 11-9 11-9 victory against Chinese Taipei’s Hsein-Tzu Cheng to progress into the next round where she will face world No. 3 Mima Ito of Japan.
Sathiyan, Sharath Kamal and Batra have earned direct entries into the singles main draw at the ongoing tournament.
Earlier in the first qualifying round of men’s singles, Anthony Amalraj suffered a 6-11 11-9 3-11 7-11 defeat against Mizuki Oikawa of Japan while Harmeet Desai lost to Ukraine’s Yevhen Pryshchepa 10-12 9-11 11-13 9-11.
In the women’s singles qualifiers, Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ahyika Mukherjee couldn’t progress into the third round. While Sutirtha lost 11-9 11-6 5-11 9-11 9-11 against Hayeong Kim of Korea, Ayhika suffered a 5-11 11-13 7-11 defeat against Irina Ciobanu of Romania. PTI