The Indian paddlers are participating in the first international youth event since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Young Indian paddlers Diya Chitale and Swastika Ghosh put up solid performances at the 2021 WTT Youth Star Contender Tunis as they confirmed a medal in the U-19 girl’s doubles category and also made their way into the knockout stage in the singles category.

The Maharashtra duo Diya and Swastika, who received a bye in the opening round, registered a convincing 11-5, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8 victory against the local favourite Fadwa Garci and Maram Zoghlami in the last-8 match of the WTT Youth Star Contender. They secured at least a bronze medal with an entry into the semi-finals. The Indian pair will now take on Czech Republic’s Linda Zaderova and Croatia’s Hana Arapovic in the last-4 match.

On the other hand, the Mumbai paddlers Diya and Swastika also progressed into the U-19 singles last-16 stage after finishing atop in their respective groups with an all-win record.

The youth national champion Diya was dominant during her identical 3-0 victories against Belarusian Darya Vasilenka (11-7, 11-7, 11-7), Linda Zaderova (11-4, 10-12, 11-1, 11-8) and Algeria’s Narimene-Hind Siddeki (11-3, 11-4, 11-7) in the Group-VI.

The junior national champion Swastika defeated Greece’s Malamatenia Papadimitriou and Portuguese Ines Matos 3-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-9) and 3-2 (8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7) respectively in the Group-I matches of the WTT Youth Star Contender.  

The ongoing tournament is the first international youth event Indian players are participating in since the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier in the boys’ event, Preyesh Raj Suresh bowed out in the U-15 singles quarter-finals while Payas Jain and Deepit Patil exited in the pre-quarters and group stage of the U-19 category respectively.

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