Sathiyan-Manika progress in mixed doubles
Sharath-Archana also win, Sathiyan loses in singles
HOUSTON: Both of India's mixed doubles pairs, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran – Manika Batra and Sharath Kamal – Archana Kamath, advanced to the round of 16 of the World Table Tennis Championships Finals 2021 in Houston, USA.
Sharath Kamal and Archana Kamath came from behind to defeat Egypt's Dina Meshref and Omar Assar 3-2 (9-11, 2-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-4) and advance to the round of 16 against Jia Nan Yuan and Emmanuel Lebesson.
In the first round, the Indian duo defeated the Algerian team of Sami Kherouf and Katia Kessaci.
In the round of 32, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra defeated Adriana Diaz and Brian Afanador of Puerto Rico 3-1 (11-6, 3-11, 11-7, 11-0). Next up for Sathiyan and Batra will be the Sino-American duo of Kanak Jha and Wang Manyu.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of 'ping-pong diplomacy,' American and Chinese players have teamed up for doubles events at the world championships. Ping-pong diplomacy was a 1970s diplomatic initiative that saw table tennis players play a significant role in mending the tense relationship between the United States and China in the post-Cold War era.
Manika Batra and Archana Kamath, both from Tokyo, won the women's doubles. In the round of 32, the duo easily defeated Belgium's Margo Degraef and Nathalie Marchetti 3-0 (11-4, 11-7, 11-6)
In the men's singles, however, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran was defeated 4-3 (9-11, 11-7, 15-13, 3-11, 11-4, 9-11, 7-11) by Nigeria's Quadri Aruna. G Sathiyan's defeat ended India's singles campaign in the United States.
In the second round, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Sharath Kamal were defeated 3-1 (9-11, 11-9, 11-13, 7-11) by the Swedish duo of Truls Moregardh and Anton Kallberg. The Indian duo received a first-round bye.
Edited - SportsAction / Inputs - Agency