The 38-year-old struggled against a higher-ranked opponent.

Star Indian paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal suffered a 6-11, 4-11, 8-11 defeat against World No. 7 Lin Yun-Ju of Chinese Taipei in the men’s singles pre-quarters of the World Table Tennis Contender Doha on Thursday.

The World No. 32 Sharath Kamal, who was playing his first international tournament after a year’s break due to the coronavirus pandemic, couldn’t gain momentum despite showing good resistance in the latter part of the match against the higher-ranked Yun-Ju. With Sharath’s loss, the Indian challenge came to an end in the tournament.

Earlier, Manika Batra and Sreeja Akula also lost their respective final qualifying round matches in the women’s singles category. While Batra lost to World No. 69 Ganna Gaponova 5-11, 6-11, 14-12, 5-11, Akula, who had outclassed World No. 74 Vega Paulina of Chile in the earlier round, made her Russian opponent Mariia Tailkova work hard.

She almost got the momentum shifted in her favour with a come-from-behind 2-1 lead before losing the tie 9-11, 11-5, 11-6, 6-11, 5-11. Another Indian paddler Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, who also secured a direct entry into the main draw alongside 2006 Commonwealth Games champion Sharath, had suffered 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 loss at the hands of star African player and World No. 20 Aruna Quadri in the previous round.

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