Indian qualifier Sutirtha Mukherjee, ranked 502 in the world, scripted a fantastic first-round upset win in the ITTF World individual table tennis championships here on Tuesday, when she sent world No. 58 Sabine Winter of Germany packing 4-3 (8-11, 17-15, 11-9, 5-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6).
In the process, Sutirtha joined Manika Batra, who had an easy first-round outing against Andrea Todorovic of Serbia 14-12, 11-5, 11-5, 11-8, in the round of 64. However, qualifiers Archana Kamath and Madhurika Patkar, bowed out of the women's singles race after making it to the main draw (of 128).
India's top men paddlers, A. Sharath Kamal and G. Sathiyan cruised to the second round, with facile wins over Zokhid Kenjaev of Uzbekistan and Belgium's Robin Devos respectively. Manav Thakkar produced a tough fight to World No.48 Robert Gados of Austria before going down in tough seven games 4-3 (11-13, 11-6, 8-11, 3-11, 11-2, 12-10, 11-6).
Earlier in the day, Manika combined well with Archana Kamath to beat Konstantina Paridi and Aikaterini Toliou of Greece 11-5, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 to enter the women doubles round of 32 where the pair will take on Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato at 8.10 p.m. later today. However, the second Indian pair of Madhurika Patkar and Sutirtha lost to the Canadian-Spanish combine of Mo Zhang and Maria Xiao 2-11, 11-6, 13-15, 8-11, 8-11.
Among other doubles events, only the mixed pair of G. Sathiyan and Archana Kamath entered the pre-quarterfinals, beating Spaniards Alvaro Robles and Galia Dvorak 11-9, 11-4, 11-8, 11-13, 11-9. The duo will take on Lee Sangsu and Jihee Jeon of South Korea on Wednesday.
However, the pair of Sharath and Manika made its exit in the round of 64 itself when the Indians lost tamely to the Polish pair of Marek Bodowski and Natalia Bajor 14-12, 6-11, 5-11, 6-11, 3-11.
In men's doubles, both Indian pairs—Sharath and Sathiyan and Amalraj and Manav—exited in the first round of the main draw. Sathiyan and Sharath lost to Iran’s Nima Alamian and Noshad Alamiyan 4-2 while Manav and Amalraj went down to Singapore’s Clarence Zhe Yu Chew and Ethan Shao Feng Poh 4-1.