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Sathiyan lone Indians left in the singles fray




New Delhi, November 25: G. Sathiyan was the lone Indian to enter the round of 32, beating Russia's Vladimir Sidorenko, in the World Table Tennis Championships in Houston yesterday. He will now take on Aruna Quadri of Nigeria, who is ranked No. 17, later on, Wednesday night.


The world No. 17 Indian overcame initial hiccups to outwit his opponent, ranked 179, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6. In the first round, Sathiyan defeated Ukraine’s Yaroslav Zhmudenko 4-0.


Earlier, Sharath Kamal had suffered a disappointing opening round loss on Tuesday. India's top-ranked player at No. 30 went down to Belgian Cedric Nuytinck 1-4, while Harmeet Desai exited before him, losing his first-round match to 0-4 to Benedikt Duda from Germany. Anthony Amalraj followed suit, despite a good fight. His Nigerian opponent Bode Abiodun won 4-3. 


Ahykia Mukherjee was the only Indian woman to enter the second round at the Worlds, after beating Egyptian Farah Abdel-Aziz 4-2 in the first round. However, the Indian failed to go past Japanese Hina Hayata in the next round as the latter blanked her out 4-0.


Earlier top-ranked Indian women’s player, Manika Batra lost to Bruna Takahashi from Brazil 4-3 in a first-round clash. The Brazilian, ranked No. 38, 2on 5-11, 13-15, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6, 4-11, 11-7 in a fierce battle. Sutirtha Mukherjee also went down to South Korean Choi Hyojoo 1-4, and Madhurika Patkar tasted 0-4 defeat at the hands of Japanese Saki Shibata.


Sharath can still make an impact in the men's doubles alongside Sathiyan and mixed doubles partnering with Archana Kamath.


Sharath and Archana entered the round of 32 with a 3-0 win over Algeria's Sami Kherouf and Katia Kessaci. Sathiyan and Manika Batra got a first-round bye and play their round of 32 mixed doubles match against Puerto Rico's Adriana Diaz and Brian Afanador.


Manika and Archana have got a first-round bye in women's doubles.