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3 Indians join Manika in women singles main draw




New Delhi, April 22: Even as Suthirta Mukherjee, Madhurika Patkar and Archana Kamath qualified to join Manika Batra in the main draw of the 2019 ITTF World Championships on the second day today, both Anthony Amalraj and Manav Thakkar were just a match away from making the cut at the Budapest event.


After having won their first-round women singles group matches on the opening day yesterday, Madhurika defeated Catherine Spicer of Trinidad and Tobago 11-3, 11-8, 11-3, 11-6, Suthirta beat Rachel Moret of Switzerland 14-12, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9 and Archana overcame Slovak’s Eva Odorova 4-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5 to top their respective groups.


Archana, who had a tough opening yesterday when she struggled to beat Ivana Petric of Montenegro 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-5, today she was 0-2 down before sizing up her Slovak opponent to win the last four games. On the other hand, it was rather easy for Madhurika who beat Latvia's Sabina Musajeva 11-4, 11-4, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7 and Suthirtha won over Celia Baah Danso of Ghana 11-4, 11-5, 11-1, 11-8 in their first group matches.


Manika, because of her world rankings, was one of the top 64 women paddlers who had received direct entry into the second stage.


In men singles qualification rounds, Amalraj and Manav had topped their respective groups but will have to play their preliminary round to make the main draw cut where they will join both G. Sathiyan and A. Sharath Kamal.


After accounting for Poland's Patryk Chojnowski 11-8, 11-9, 5-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6 yesterday in the first group match, Manav defeated Nicholas Tio of the US 11-6, 11-9, 13-11, 12-14, 11-3 today to secure the top place in the group. Similarly, Amalraj who got a walkover from Kodjo Boccovi from Togo yesterday had to just win a match against Allan Gutierrez from Gautemala which he accomplished with ease, winning the second group match 11-6, 11-3, 11-6, 11-7.


The preliminary matches that will decide the fate of the two Indians are slated later tonight with Amalraj taking on Tom Jarvis of England and Manav facing Leonardo Mutti of Italy.


The two Indian men doubles pairs of Sathiyan and Sharath and Manav Thakkar and Amalrath have received direct entries into the main draw but in women doubles, only the first Indian pair of Manika Batra and Archana have been given the privilege. The second duo of Suthirta and Madhurika has to qualify against Lativa’s Sabina Musajeva and Inta Zdanovska to book their second stage slot.  


In other scheduled mixed doubles matches later tonight, Sharath and Manika will pair up against Mavek Badowski and Natalia Bajov of Poland while Sathiyan and Archana will clash with Laurens Tromer and Britt Eerland of the Netherlands.