WTT Contender Lagos 2024: Sreeja Akula shines as Indians reach three finals

Apart from reaching her maiden singles final at this level, Sreeja also made it to the women’s doubles final with Archana Kamath.

Published : Jun 22, 2024 22:43 IST , CHENNAI - 2 MINS READ

FILE PHOTO: Sreeja Akula.
FILE PHOTO: Sreeja Akula. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

FILE PHOTO: Sreeja Akula. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

India No. 2 Sreeja Akula emerged as the standout player as Indians reached three finals at WTT Contender event in Lagos, Nigeria, on Saturday.

The 25-year-old Sreeja, member of the Paris Olympics squad, saved three match points in a thrilling 3-2 (11-8, 13-15, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10) victory over compatriot Sutirtha Mukherjee to reach her maiden final at this level. Sutirtha had created a massive upset by defeating World No. 8 and defending champion Shin Yubin of Korea 3-2 (11-9, 3-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6) in the quarterfinals.

Sreeja will face China’s Ding Yijie, World No. 504, in the summit clash. Yijie defeated Ayhika Mukherjee 3-2 (11-7, 7-11, 11-2, 11-13, 11-4) in the other semifinal.

Sreeja also reached the women’s doubles final. She and Archana Kamath won 3-0 (11-7, 11-5, 12-10) against Asian Games bronze medallists Ayhika and Sutirtha. It will be an all-Indian battle for the title as Diya Chitale and Yashaswini Ghorpade claimed a 3-1 (14-12, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7) over China’s Sun Sinan and Ding in their semifinal.

READ | Paris 2024: Sharath Kamal, Manika Batra to spearhead India in Olympic team debut

Indian duo of Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar reached the men’s doubles final with a 3-0 (11-4, 11-9, 11-5) win over China’s Kang Youde and Ning Xiankun. They will face local favourites Azeez Solanke and Olajide Omotayo in the summit clash.

In men’s singles, Manav had three match points in the fourth game of his quarterfinal against second-seeded Korean Lim Jonghoon but could not convert any of them. Lim eventually won 3-2 (9-11, 12-10, 5-11, 15-13, 8-11). Sharath Kamal also went down 3-2 (11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6) against Frenchman Thibault Poret.

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