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'Today was the biggest achievement of my singles career,' says elated Manika Batra after upsetting world no 2 Wang Manyu

Published at :May 7, 2024 at 11:09 AM
Modified at :May 7, 2024 at 11:30 AM
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(Courtesy : @manikabatra_TT/X)

Ajay Gandhar

Indian paddler defeated Chinese player 3-1 in round of 32.

Indian paddler Manika Batra pulled off a massive upset at the Saudi Smash 2024 tournament on Monday, defeating current World No. 2 Wang Manyu of China 3-1 to advance to the round of 16.

The 28-year-old Batra started on a bad note against the heavy favourite Wang, losing the first game 11-6. But Batra responded by claiming the second game 11-5, then she rolled on, winning the next two games 11-7, 12-10 to seal the monumental victory.

“Today was the biggest achievement of my singles career,” an elated Batra said after the match. “I have been working hard in my training sessions with my coach, Aman Balgu, along with my practice partners and trainers, and my hard work paid off.”

Batra, currently ranked 39th in the world, acknowledged that consistent dedication over a long period made the statement win against the Chinese superstar possible. “It wasn’t just a day’s hard work, because it takes days, months, and years of hard work to achieve such results,” she said.

The Indian star also gave credit to her support system as well. “I want to thank everyone who was there for me, cheered me, and supported me,” Batra stated. “I fought for every ball in the game and I’ll keep that fighting spirit up in the next match and coming tournaments as well.”

The victory represents a career-high point for Batra on the elite international stage in singles. Batra has previously claimed most of its accolades in team and doubles events. Batra won Gold in 2018 Commonwealth Games in team event and Bronze in 2018 Asian Games in mixed doubles.

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The 28-year-old Indian who recently lost her status as the country’s top-ranked female player to Sreeja Akula began her Saudi Smash 2024 campaign with a 3-0 (11-6, 13-11, 11-8) victory over Romania’s Andreea Dragoman in the opening round on Saturday.

Next up for Batra is a round of 16 clash against Germany’s Nina Mittelham, currently ranked 14th in the world rankings. A victory over the higher-ranked German would propel Batra into the tournament quarterfinals.

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