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WTT Star Contender Goa 2024: Sreeja Akula advances to quarterfinals, Manika Batra loses

Published at :January 27, 2024 at 6:13 PM
Modified at :January 27, 2024 at 6:13 PM
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(Courtesy : Artsmith)

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Akula defeated higher-ranked Hong Kong Doo Hoi Kem

Indian paddler Sreeja Akula registered a commanding victory to move into the women’s singles quarter-finals of the ongoing WTT Star Contender Goa 2024, while Manika Batra and Archana Kamath suffered defeats in their respective last-8 matches at the Peddem Indoor Stadium in Mapusa, Goa on Saturday.

The Hyderabad-based paddler Akula 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 by 3-1 (12-10, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8) to reach the quarter-finals.

“I am really happy to win this match. In 2021, I had 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 Akula after the victory.

The tournament is co-hosted by Stupa Sports Analytics and Ultimate Table Tennis under the guidance of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI).

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 by 1-3 (11-13, 11-9, 6-11, 4-11).

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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 by 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 quarter-finals of WTT Star Contender Goa 2024.

The semi-finals and finals will be played on Sunday as the fans can enjoy the world-class action by booking their tickets on BookMyShow. The thrilling action will be available live on Sony Sports Ten 2 SD & Sony Sports Ten 2 HD channels on TV and livestream on Sony Liv app.

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