World Table Tennis Contender: Manika to face Sreeja in quarterfinals; Sathiyan crashes out

Manika Batra defeated Giorgia Piccolin to set up a women’s singles quarterfinal clash with Sreeja Akula in the World Table Tennis Contender Budapest on Wednesday.

Sreeja Akula continued her dream at the World Table Tennis Contender Budapest with a 11-9, 11-6, 13-11 victory against Barbora Balazova of Slovakia in the round of 16. (FILE PHOTO)   -  BISWARANJAN ROUT/ The Hindu

Manika Batra, the sixth seed, overcame a stiff challenge from Giorgia Piccolin of Italy to eventually win 3-2 and set up a women’s singles quarterfinal clash with Sreeja Akula in the World Table Tennis Contender Budapest on Wednesday.

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Earlier, fourth-seeded G. Sathiyan bowed out of men’s singles, after losing to Niagol Stoyanov of Italy 3-1 in the Round of 16.

The highlight of the day from the Indian angle was the performance of qualifier Sreeja. The 23-year-old, ranked 150 in the world, scripted a facile 3-0 win over Barbora Balazova of Slovakia in the pre-quarterfinals, ranked 97 places above her.

Stoyanov, standing tall at 175m, literally overpowered Sathiyan with a sustained counter-attack on both flanks.

Sreeja used her soft-pimpled rubber to good effect against the Slovakian. The 29-year-old was clearly uncomfortable against the rubber, making quite a few mistakes in the process at critical junctures of the match.

 

 

The results:

Men (round of 16): G. Sathiyan lost to Niagol Stoyanov (Ita) 10-12, 11-7, 12-10, 19-17; Harmeet Desai lost to Dang Qiu (Ger) 5-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-4; Manav Thakkar lost to Kirill Skachkov (Rus) 10-12, 13-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9.

Women (round of 16): Sreeja Akula bt Barbora Balazova (Svk) 11-9, 11-6, 13-11.

Mixed doubles (quarterfinals): G. Sathiyan & Manika Batra bt Libomir Pistej & Barbora Balazova (Svk) 11-4, 3-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9.

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