WTT Contender Muscat 2022 | Manika Batra upsets world no.29, advances to pre-quarters in women's singles
Manika Batra, the top female paddler from India, upset World No. 29 Korean Shin Yubin in a competitive match to advance to the pre-quarterfinals at the WTT Contender Muscat, returning to her winning ways after a medal-less performance at Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022, which recently concluded.
In a matchup against the skilled 18-year-old Yubin of Korea, Manika, the World No. 44 ranked Indian paddler, was desperately trying to find her form after a particularly difficult performance at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in July-August. However, Manika found the answers she needed in time and won 3-1. (2-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-6).
Diya Chitale also had a successful opening day in the other women's singles matches of the day, defeating Singaporean Zhang Wanling 3-1 (9-11, 11-3, 6-11, 4-11), and moving on to the pre-quarterfinals.
Ayhika Mukherjee, Sutirtha Mukherjee, and Prapti Sen of Bengal, as well as Sreeja Akula and Archana Kamath, were unable to prevail in their first-round matches. While Archana Kamath fell to Chu Hanwen of China, Sreeja, the current national champion, suffered a 3-1 defeat against World No. 20 Chinese shuttler Chen Xingtong.
Ayhika Mukherjee, meanwhile, was defeated in straight games by Germany's Nina Mittelham, the world's No. 13 player. Sutirtha Mukherjee, an Olympian from Tokyo, was defeated 3-1 by world No. 36 Lily Zhang, and 3-2 by Elizabeta Samara.
Unfortunately for Harmeet Desai, who had made the main draw in the men's singles, was defeated 3-0 by seasoned Korean paddler Lee Sangsu early on and was unable to advance. India still has doubles matches to play at the WTT Contender Muscat, and its prospects of winning a medal are still very much alive.