Doha: Manika Batra and Harmeet Desai made an impressive return to the international circuit by registering straight-game victories in their respective qualifying Round 2 matches at the World Table Tennis Contender series here today. Batra registered a 12-10 14-12 11-8 victory over Spain’s Sofia-Xuan Zhang in the women’s singles. World No. 73 Desai notched up an 11-5 12-10 11-6 win over compatriot Anthony Amalraj to progress to the third round of the men’s singles qualifiers. Achanta Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran have received direct entries into the men’s singles main draw, while 10 other Indians are playing in the qualifiers at the event.
Shuttlers Varun, Malvika win titles
New Delhi: Indian shuttlers Varun Kapur and Malvika Bansod registered hard-fought wins to clinch the men’s and women’s singles titles, respectively, at the Uganda International in Kampala. Varun got the better of seventh seed Sankar Muthusamy 21-18 16-21 21-17, while second seed Malvika notched up a come-from-behind 17-21 25-23 21-10 victory over compatriot Anupama Upadhyaya.
I-League: Punjab up to second
Kolkata: Churchill Brothers survived a last-minute scare to beat 10-man Gokulam Kerala FC 3-2 and extend their lead atop the I-League table to four points. Meanwhile, Papa Diawara’s 65th-minute header helped Punjab FC register a 1-0 win over NEROCA to move to the second spot. Agencies