Manika Batra achieves career-best ranking of 38, Sathiyan new world no 34

Veteran Achanta Sharath Kamal also gained a place to be world no 37 as most of the Indian players made fair gains in the latest charts.

Manika and Sathiyan

The mixed doubles pairing of Manika Batra and G. Sathiyan is ranked world no 6. (File photo)   -  GETTY IMAGES

Indian paddlers, including Manika Batra, made massive gains in the ITTF world rankings after the sport's governing body approved changes to the points system.

Manika attained a career-high singles ranking of 38 with a jump of 10 spots while G. Sathiyan was the best-placed Indian male player at 34 in the latest International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings.

Veteran Sharath Kamal, who last week won his 10th National title, also gained a place to be World No. 37 while Sreeja Akula, who won her maiden national title in Shillong, gained as many as 39 places to be ranked 68th. At No. 66 is Archana Kamath, who has made a big leap from 92nd position.

Reeth Tennison has gained an astounding 197 spots to be ranked 97th.

While Sharath and Sathiyan are the only two Indian male players in the top-100, there are four Indians in the women's standings. The jump in their rankings comes after the ITTF decided to remove "initial points," which were introduced in 2020, to determine the rankings.

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"In 2020, a transition phase was implemented to adapt the Ranking to the new WTT events’ structure. Thus "initial points" were introduced, adding a fixed number of points to the best eight results gained; the initial value was 80 per cent of a player’s total points in December 2020," the ITTF said in a statement.

"Due to Covid-19 and the difficulty to organise events, the "initial points" were maintained for a longer period and reduced at a slower pace. As of January 2022, they had been reduced to 20 per cent.

"The total number of events in 2021 and 2022 has afforded players the opportunity to gain ranking points. Removing the "initial points" allows players who performed well in recent tournaments to climb the listings and gain entry to higher tier events," it added.

The ITTF has extended the validity of all points gained during 2021 senior events to at least till January 2023.

In the men's doubles, G Sathiyan and Harmeet Desai are ranked 28th in the while the pair of Sathiyan-Sharath is placed in 35th position. Manika and Archana are ranked fourth in the women's doubles section while Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee are in 29th spot.

In the mixed doubles, Manika and Sathiyan are ranked sixth while Manav Thakkar and Archana Kamath are 22nd.

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