The Indian duo of Gnanasekaran Sathiyan and Manika Batra reached the final of the mixed doubles in the WTT Contender tournament, in Budapest. Meanwhile, Manika also entered the semi-finals of the women’s individual event after a thrilling win over compatriot Sreeja Akula 3-2 in the last-eight clash.
It was less than a month back that Manika Batra staged a couple of memorable wins to enter the third round of the singles event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, becoming the first-ever Indian to do so. The paddler is riding on her good form as she stormed into the final of the mixed doubles event in the WTT Contender tournament, in Budapest, Hungary, alongside Gnanasekaran Sathiyan.
The Indian duo had the better of the Belarussian pair of Aleksandr and Daria Trigolos, with scores of 11-6, 11-5, 11-4 to book a berth for the summit clash. The pair are set to lock horns with the Hungarian pair of Nandor Ecseki and Dora Madarasz in the final.
Meanwhile, Manika Batra also made her way to the semi-final of the women’s individual event, after a nerve-wracking win over compatriot Sreeja Akula in the last-eight clash. Sreeja won the first game and piled on some serious pressure on her fancied opponent, but Manika Batra took the second and third game with ease. Sreeja pulled one back to make it 2-2, but the veteran had the last laugh.
The Indian men had a dismal outing, as Sathiyan, Manav Thakkar, and Harmeet Desai all lost in their respective round-of-16 clashes. Earlier on, the men’s doubles pair of Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar lost to the Russian pair of Kirill Skachkov and Vladimir Sidorenko with scores of 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6 in the semi-finals.