Indian women’s pair of Manika Batra and Archana Kamath claimed top honours at the WTT Contender Lasko with an inspiring win over Puerto Rican duo of Melanie Diaz and Adriana Diaz in the title clash. This was Manika Batra’s second WTT Contender win after the triumph in Budapest, in August.
With none of the Indian paddlers managing to claim a medal in the tournament so far, the onus was on Archana Kamath and Manika Batra to end the campaign on a high. The duo delivered when it mattered the most.
Up against the Puerto Rican sisters Melanie Diaz and Adriana Diaz in the title clash, the Indian duo took the offensive route from the onset. A great combination of powerful smashes and well-coordinated rally wins helped them earn the first game with ease.
Even though the second game was more evenly contested, the Indians held their nerves till the end and managed to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Manika-Archana carried the momentum in the third game as well, with them taking a 6-3 lead midway. However, they lost track thereafter and gave away a series of points and found themselves down by 6-10. But, they eventually staged a miraculous comeback, winning six points on the trot to pocket the game and match. The final scores read 11-3, 11-8, 12-10 in favour of the Indians.
This was Manika Batra’s second WTT Contender win, having already claimed a mixed doubles title alongside Gnanasekaran Sathiyan at the WTT Contender Budapest, in August. On the other hand, this is the second consecutive week in which an Indian has won a WTT Contender title, with the pair of Harmeet Desai and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan winning the men’s doubles event at the WTT Contender Tunis, last week.