WTT Contender Budapest: Manika Batra loses in semifinals

Manika, seeded sixth, lost 10-12, 9-11, 10-12, 8-11 to reigning European youth (u-19) champion Elizabet Abraamian.

This is Sathiyan and Manika's best show thus far in a global event. (File Picture)   -  PTI

The 18-year-old, the reigning European youth (u-19) champion, with a ranking of 415, played a wonderfully attacking game throughout to outplay India’s Manika Batra, the sixth seed, 12-10, 11-9, 12-10, 10-8 and move into the final of the World Table Tennis Contender Budapest on Thursday. Abraamian will meet the top seed Xiaoxin Yang of Monaco in the final.

It was not that Manika played badly. In fact, the Indian kept pace with the Russian using her long-pimpled rubber intelligently and attacked on her forehand with aplomb. However, at crucial points in all three games, Abraamian’s attacking strokes on both flanks elicited no response from Manika. In the first and third game, Manika was leading 10-9 only to see Abraamian make a comeback.

Sharath Kamal in search of a playing partner

Earlier, in the quarterfinals, Manika had to dig deep to outwit her country-mate Sreeja Akula 7-11, 11-1, 8-11, 13-11, 11-6. Players of similar styles with pimpled rubber on the backhand, Manika and Sreeja dished out an entertaining contest of top quality.

India's G. Sathiyan and Manika Batra outclassed the Belarussian pair of Aleksandr Khanin and Daria Trigolos, seeded fourth, 11-6, 11-5, 11-4 to enter the mixed doubles final--the duo's first-ever at a global event. Sathiyan and Batra will take on the Hungarians, Nandor Ecseki and Dora Madarasz in the summit clash.

The results:

Women’s: Semifinals: Manika Batra lost to Elizabet Abraamian (Rus) 12-10, 11-9, 12-10, 11-8; Quarterfinals: Manika Batra bt Sreeja Akula 7-11, 11-1, 8-11, 13-11, 11-6.

Mixed doubles (semifinals): G. Sathiyan & Manika Batra bt  Aleksandr Khanin & Daria Trigolos (Blr) 11-6, 11-5, 11-4; Nandor Ecseki & Dora Madarasz (Hun) bt Kirill Skachkov &  Olga Vorobeva (Rus) 11-5, 11-9, 11-8.

Men’s doubles (semifinal): Harmeet Desai & Manav Thakkar lost to Vladimir Sidorenko and Kirill Skachkov of Russia 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6.


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