WTT Star Contender: Manika, Sutirtha enter round of 16
Manika Batra and Sutirta Mukherjee of India overcame higher-ranked opponents to advance to the final 16 rounds of the WTT Star Contender in Goa. However, the biggest disappointment of the day at Dr. Shyam Prasad Mukherjee’s indoor stadium was 20-year-old Korean Cho Daesung, who edged out world number one Chinese in the men’s singles Fan Zhendong.
The day, from the point of view of host India, belonged to Manika and Sutirtha. Manika defeated world No. 14 Adriana Diaz 3:1 (11:9, 11:8, 5:11, 11:8). Sutirtha, currently ranked 146th, defeated Jia Nan Yuan (18th in the world rankings) from France 3-0 (11-7, 11-8, 11-7).
In the next round, Manika will face China’s Qian Tianyi. Last year, she defeated Qian in a tournament in Qatar. Sutirta will face another veteran from Portugal Fu Yu.
Manika Batra stays strong on home soil here in #WTTStarContender Goa! ��
She goes to #VTGO Women’s Singles Round of 16 – Watch it live tomorrow at 11:00 (GMT +5:30) at https://t.co/B4RNb4eZH4 or https://t.co/WzpUvKSPUN! �� pic.twitter.com/pArvDJ4E7R
– World Table Tennis (@WTTGlobal) March 2, 2023
“I am very happy that I beat Adriana Diaz today. Let’s see what happens in the next round. I have played her before and I will have several strategies against her. tomorrow for my country and for myself,” Manika said.
Sutirtha, whose impeccable timing and forehand power has been her strength in tournaments, also shared her thoughts. “I feel absolutely great as I managed to beat a top 20 player. Tomorrow I will play against Yu Fu and I hope I can beat her too. Earlier, I also met with Yuan and lost the match with a slight advantage. I didn’t really think about ranking this time, I just decided to play freely and that led me to this victory.”
The biggest shock of day four came in the men’s singles when Cho returned from two games and beat Fanat 3-2 (7-11, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-8) to take first place. round 16.
The second and third seeds in the men’s singles, Japanese teenager Tomokazu Harimoto and Swede Truls Moregarde also made it to the round of 16 with victories over China’s Liang Yanning and Portugal’s Joao Heraldo, respectively.
Although Manika won her singles match, she was defeated in her quarterfinal mixed doubles match. Manika and Ji Satyan lost to Miwa Harimoto and Shunsuke Togami of Japan in three games in a row – 12-10, 11-6, 11-6.