WTT Star Contender: Indian challenge ends in DohaSeptember 25, 2021
All eyes were on ranked world No. 132 Archana Kamath, the lone Indian challenger remaining in the WTT Star Contender at Lusail Sports Arena in Doha, Qatar on Friday.
But the Bengaluru girl, 21, after winning the first game and putting up a brave show in the second succumbed which she lost by mere two points lost the next two and the quarterfinal match against World No. 15 Doo Hoi Kem of Hong Kong 11-9, 11-13, 8-11, 6-11.
In the earlier rounds, Archana’s victims included World No. 93 Tin-Tin Ho of England, World No. 39 Zhang Mo of Canada, and World No. 57 Miyu Nagasaki of Japan
Earlier in the mixed doubles pre-quarterfinal match, Archana and Manav Thakkar lost to Wong Chung Ting and Doo Hoi Kem.
For her efforts, Archana who is ranked No. 132 in the World will add 105 points ranking points and is expected to leapfrog and break into top-100 when ITTF, the world governing body, releases the world ranking soon.
“I played with her a few years ago in the Indian Table Tennis League. She has improved a lot. She might be young but she’s very good. She beat Zhang Mo and Miyu Nagasaki before, so I did a lot of preparation before the match. I told myself to stay calm, and that if she played well, I shouldn’t be upset. I did my best to keep my emotions in check, focus on winning one point at a time, and take it as if she’s a much stronger opponent with a much higher ranking – then I would be able to play to the best of my ability. I’ve never played with Pesotska before. I’ll watch some videos of her matches and do my best,” Doo Hoi Kem told worldtabletennis.com after the matccg
Archana’s compatriot Sreeja Akula, a former national junior champion and ranked No. 143 in the world, too had a good outing. The Maharashtrian ousted 45th ranked Tatiana Kukulkova of Slovakia 11-5, 8-11, 11-3, 9-11, 11-9 in the round of 64 and in the round of 32, Sreeja, 23, shocked World No. 21 Suh Hyowon of Korea 11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7.
However, World No. 47 Bruna Takahashi of Brazil put a brake on the Indian’s win spree in the match for a place in the last-8 stage winning 11-7, 11-4, 12-10
G Sathiyan who got a bye in the first round was blanked by Andrej Gacina 6-11, 6-11, 7-11 of Croatia on Thursday in the men’s singles round of 32.
In men’s doubles too, Sathiyan partnering his Chennai mate Anthony Amalraj lost tamely to Japanese duo Kazuhiro Yoshimura and Yuto Kizukuri 5-11, 11-9, 5-11, 6-11 in the opening round.
Other Indians Amalraj Anthony (100th ranked in men’s singles), Reeth Tennison (World no. 533 in women’s singles), Harmeet and Manav (ranked 96th) and Manav and Archana (235th in mixed doubles) were forced to play classification matches and could not make the main round.
WTT returned to Doha following its successful debut earlier this year with the WTT Middle East Hub in March. WTT Star Contender Doha is the third WTT event in Qatar which offered 600 ITTF Table Tennis World Ranking points and a total purse of $200,000.
Women’s singles: 132-Archana Kamath bt 93-Tin-Tin Ho of England 11-7, 6-11, 13-11, 11-8 in Rd 64; bt 39-Zhang Mo of Canada 11-8, 15-13, 11-7 in Rd 32; bt 57-Miyu Nagasaki of Japan 11-13, 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8 in Rd 16; lost to 15-Doo Hoi Kem of Hong Kong 11-9, 11-13, 8-11, 6-11 (in quarterfinals)
143-Sreeja Akula bt 45-Tatiana Kukulkova of Slovakia 11-5, 8-11, 11-3, 9-11, 11-9 (rd 64); bt 21-Suh Hyowon of Korea 11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7 (in Rd 32), lost to 47-Bruna Takahashi of Brazil 11-7, 11-4, 12-10 (in Rd 16)
Men’s singles: 39-G Sathiyan lost to 48-Andrej Gacina of Croatia 6-11, 6-11, 7-11
Mixed doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Wong Chung Ting-Doo Hoi Kem of HK bt Archana Kamath-Manav Thakkar 11-8, 11-7, 11-8
Women’s doubles: No entries
Men’s doubles: Kazuhiro Yoshmura-Yuto Kizukuri of Japan bt Amalraj Antony-Sathiyan 11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6; Tukiya UDa-Saunsuke Togami bt Harmeet Desai-Manav Thakkar 11-5, 11-7, 11-8.