Indian men blank Uzbekistan in World team table tennis championships

Manika loses twice as women go down fighting to Germany

October 01, 2022 03:34 pm | Updated 10:19 pm IST

India’s top paddler Manika Batra lost both her matches as the women’s team went down fighting to fifth seed Germany 2-3 in its opening group match of the World team table tennis championships in Chengdu, China on Saturday. Earlier, the Indian men blanked Uzbekistan 3-0.

After Manika lost her opening rubber to World No. 8 Ying Han, two young paddlers Sreeja Akula and Diya Chitale punched above their weight to script wins over much higher-ranked opponents to give a huge boost to the Indian team's chances.

Sreeja pulled off the biggest victory yet of her nascent career when she defeated World No. 14 Nina Mittelham 11-9, 12-10, 11-7, before Diya attacked relentlessly to script an 11-9, 11-8, 6-11, 13-11 win over Sabine Winter, World No. 46.

However, in the fourth rubber, Manika lost to Nina 11-7, 6-11, 7-11, 8-11. In the fifth and deciding rubber, Ying, one of the last surviving defenders on the professional circuit, put it across Sreeja in straight games.

The results:

Men: India bt Uzbekistan 3-0 [Harmeet Desai bt Elmurod Kholikov 11-9, 11-9, 11-1; G. Sathiyan bt Abdulaziz Anorboev 11-3, 11-6, 11-9; Manav Thakkar bt Shokhrukh Iskandarov 11-8, 11-5, 11-5].

Women: Germany bt India 3-2 (Ying Han bt Manika Batra 11-3, 11-1, 11-2; Nina Mittelham lost to Sreeja Akula 9-11, 10-12, 7-11; Sabine Winter lost to Diya Chitale 9-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-13; Nina bt Manika 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8; Ying bt Sreeja 11-3, 11-5, 11-4].

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