India’s top-ranked women’s paddler Manika Batra and country-mate Gnansekaran Sathiyan passed the first hurdle and qualified for the second round in the ongoing WTT Contender series, in Doha. Achanta Sharath Kamal will be up against Puerto Rico's Brian Afanador later on in the tournament.
The Indian paddlers are in action in Doha for the first major tournament in the build-up to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Indian Table Tennis’ poster girl Manika Batra overcame Chinese Taipei’s Hsien-Tzy Cheng 3-0 in the first round, with scores of 11-5, 11-9, 11-9. The world no. 63 will now face Japan’s Mima Ito, ranked 60-place above her in the round-of-16 clash on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Gnanasekaran Sathiyan (world no.37) edged past 3-2 against France’s world no. 40, with the final score reading - 9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-4. He is set to face world no. 5 Harimoto Tomokazu of Japan in the last 16 clash on Tuesday.
Former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Achanta Sharath Kamal will be up against Puerto Rico's Brian Afanador later on. The mixed doubles pair of Achanta and Manika bowed out in the second-round qualifier against Mexico’s Marcos Madrid and Yadira Silva a day earlier in the tournament.