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Indian paddler Manika Batra breaks into top 25 in latest ITTF world rankings

Published at :May 14, 2024 at 2:30 PM
Modified at :May 15, 2024 at 6:41 PM
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(Courtesy : @manikabatra_TT/X)

Ajay Gandhar

Batra became the first female paddler to achieve under 25 rankings.

In a historic achievement for Indian table tennis, ace paddler Manika Batra has secured a career-high world ranking of #24 in the latest ITTF rankings released on Tuesday. The 28-year-old became the first Indian woman to break into the top 25 bracket.

Batra’s meteoric rise saw her jump a staggering #15 places from her previous world ranking of 39. Her stellar performances at the recently concluded Saudi Smash 2024 tournament proved instrumental in this milestone ranking.

The star Indian paddler pulled off a massive upset in the round of 32, stunning World No. #2 Wang Manyu of China in a hard-fought encounter. Batra carried this momentum into the pre-quarterfinals, overcoming World No. #14 Nina Mittelham of Germany to register her first-ever win against the German veteran.

Although Batra’s dream run was halted in the quarterfinals by World No. #5 Hina Hayata of Japan, her impressive performances were enough to propel her into the top 25 elite rankings. With this leap, Batra has equalled the highest-ever ranking achieved by an Indian in singles – the World No. #24 spot previously attained by G Sathiyan in 2019.

Batra’s rise to the top has also seen her reclaim the mantle of India’s No. #1 woman paddler, overtaking Sreeja Akula who dropped three places to World No. #41 in the latest rankings.

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In the men’s singles, veteran Achanta Sharath Kamal continues to lead the Indian contingent at World No. #40 despite a three-place drop. Young guns Manav Thakkar (62nd) and Harmeet Desai (63rd) have maintained their positions among the world’s top 65 players.

The Indian contingent also enjoyed success in the doubles events. Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee rose one spot to 13th in the women’s doubles rankings, while Thakkar and Manush Shah slipped three places to 15th in men’s doubles. Batra and Sathiyan dropped one place to 24th in the mixed doubles category.

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