The paddler defeated World No. 6 Hina Hayata of Japan to enter her name in history books.
Manika Batra creates history by becoming the first Indian Indian woman to win a bronze medal at the Asian Cup. She beat world number 6 Hina Hayata (4-2) in the bronze medal playoff match. Manika started the match on a positive note winning the first set and was quite aggressive throughout the match. In the fourth set, she was trailing by four set points (6-10) but made a comeback by winning six straight points. She also then led the set (4-1). Overall Manika beat World No. 6, 7 and 22 to win one of the most prestigious tournaments in Asia. These tournaments are usually dominated by the Chinese and Japanese. Also, this is India’s third medal at the Asian Cup and the first after 22 long years.
Manika Batra in the semifinals took on the World No. 5 Japanese Mima Ito who had a 4-0 advantage over the Indian. The Indian paddler lost the first set comfortably but came back strong winning the second set. In the second set, Mima Ito was leading 6-3 but Manika Batra took over from there to win five successive points and take a two-point advantage.
During the whole tournament, Manika Batra used twiddling to great effect. Twiddling is basically turning the racket in the mid-rally to bring a variation in shots while using a paddle of different rubbers (red and black). Manika Batra uses red rubber for defence and black rubber for attack using the long pips. It is difficult for a player to twiddle in pressure situations but Manika won the set point after twiddling and showed good confidence.
The third and fourth sets were won comfortably by the Japanese but again the Indian made a comeback in the fifth to win (11-8) but Mima Ito won the sixth set comprehensively to take the game and reach the finals who will be playing against Wang Yi Di from China. In the five matches played between Manika and Ito, this has to be highly competitive.