Sutirtha, Ahyika make winning starts at WTT Star Contender Doha

While Sutirtha Mukherjee registered an 11-9, 11-3, 11-6 victory over Ala Mohamed, Ahyika Mukherjee notched up an 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 win against Maha Faramarzi.

Indian Table Tennis star Sutirtha Mukherjee won comfortably in the outing against Qatar's Ala Mohamed at the WTT Star Contender Series in Doha, Qatar (File Photo).   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Indian paddlers Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ahyika Mukherjee started their campaign at WTT Star Contender Doha with comfortable victories in the first round of the women's singles qualifying event on Saturday.

While the World No. 95 Sutirtha registered a dominating 11-9, 11-3, 11-6 victory over Ala Mohamed of Qatar, World No. 131 Ahyika notched up an easy 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 win against Qatar's Maha Faramarzi.

Bronze medallist at the recently-concluded National Championship, Sreeja Akula, went down fighting in a five-gamer against Japan's Sakura Yokoi.

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Akula was trailing 2-1 before making a strong comeback to make it 2-2. However, the Indian couldn't sustain the momentum and lost the match 12-10, 7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 6-11.

Later in the day, Diya Chitale and Archana Kamath will be in action in the women's singles qualifying round one.

Among men, World No. 73 Harmeet Desai and World No. 99 Anthony Amalraj will begin their campaign in the first round of the singles qualifying event.

Sharath Kamal and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan, who are ranked 32 and 37 in the world, respectively, have received direct entry into the men's singles main draw while World No. 63 Manika Batra has also earned a place in the women's singles main draw.

In the mixed-doubles category, the Indian pair of Manika and Sharath have received a bye in the first qualifying round. The duo will begin its campaign on Sunday.