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WTT Star Contender Goa: India’s Sreeja advances into quarterfinals, Manika loses

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WTT Star Contender Goa: India’s Sreeja advances into quarterfinals, Manika loses

Mapusa (Goa), Jan 27 (IANS) Star Indian paddler Sreeja Akula registered a commanding victory to move into the women’s singles quarterfinals while Manika Batra and Archana Kamath suffered defeats in their respective matches in the ongoing World Table Tennis (WTT) Star Contender Goa 2024 at the Peddem Indoor Stadium here on Saturday. The semifinals and finals in various categories will be played on Sunday.

The Hyderabad-based paddler Sreeja began the contest on a positive note against a higher-ranked opponent from Hong Kong Doo Hoi Kem (WR 36) and won the thrilling first game before losing the second. However, the World No. 66 looked in complete control of the next two games and clinched the match 3-1 (12-10, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8) to reach the quarterfinals.

“I am really happy to win this match. In 2021, I lost to the same opponent, so it feels really great to win a match against her in this tournament. I was able to execute my plans perfectly and kept myself motivated even after losing the second game to win the contest. She was really aggressive and I focused on putting the ball on the table and choosing the right ball to attack which worked in my favour. I will be well prepared for the upcoming match as well,” commented Sreeja after the victory.

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On the other hand, India’s top-ranked singles paddler Batra (WR 38) went down 1-3 (11-9, 11-13, 7-11, 9-11) against the World No.13 Xiaoxin Yang of Monaco despite winning the first game of the contest. In the other women’s singles pre-quarterfinal, youngster from Bengaluru Kamath lost to South Korea’s Jeon Jihee 1-3 (11-13, 11-9, 6-11, 4-11).

World No.8 Shin Yubin of South Korea continued her positive form to defeat Sweden’s Christina Kallberg 3-1 (11-5, 11-6, 10-12, 11-6), whereas Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-ching (WR 18) beat Yang Ha Eun of South Korea 3-0 (11-8, 11-9, 11-9).

In the last-16 stage of the men’s singles category, World No.8 Felix Lebrun of France extended his sparkling form to register a comfortable 3-0 (11-3, 12-10, 11-9) win against Sweden’s Ruls Moregard. However, his brother Alexis Lebrun faced a 1-3 (8-11, 11-8, 10-12, 8-11) defeat against World No. 14 Quadri Aruna of Nigeria.

Six-time Olympic medallist Dimitrij Ovtcharov of Germany looked in fine form to beat England’s Liam Pitchford 3-1 (11-5, 8-11, 17-15, 11-8) as he made his way into the quarterfinals of WTT Star Contender Goa 2024.

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