Battling from the brink of defeat, National champion Sreeja Akula posted the biggest victory of her career by stunning World No. 21 Chen Szu-Yu to enter the women singles pre-quarterfinals of the Asian Continental Stage of the 2023 WTTC Finals in Doha on Tuesday.
Ranked 72nd in the latest world rankings, Sreeja fought from being 1-3 down and staring at defeat in the close fifth set before pulling off a 11-2, 5-11, 2-11, 5-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-8 victory.
Manika Batra, ranked 35, expectedly defeated Hong Kong’s 93rd-ranked Zhu Chengzhu in straight sets.
Reeth Rishya lost to World No. 5 Hina Hayata (Japan), Swastika Ghosh ended her campaign after running into World No. 18 Jihee Jeon (Korea) and Diya Chitale took a set off World No. 20 Miu Hirano (Japan) before bowing out.
In the men’s singles, Sharath Kamal kept alive India’s challenge by advancing to the pre-quarterfinals. He defeated low-ranked Iranian Amin Ahmadian 4-1.
Earlier, Harmeet Desai lost to World No. 1 Fan Zhengdong (China) and Manush Shah surrendered to World No. 16 Lim Jonghoon (Korea).