Manika Batra loses in semifinals, India’s problem ends

Doha, March 15

India’s Manika Batra lost in the semifinals stage of her knockout section at the World Singles Qualification Tournament here last night.

Up against Yang Xiaoxin from Monaco, India’s No. 1 ranked women’s singles player went down 1-4 despite putting up a good fight.

Despite losing the first two games, world No. 63 Batra held her nerve and attempted a comeback by winning the third game. However, her higher-ranked opponent Yang, the world No. 44, didn’t let the momentum slip and wrapped up the tie 11-9 11-4 8-11 11-4 11-9.

In the quarterfinals played late last night, Batra thrashed Uzbekistan’s Rimma Gufranova 12-10 11-3 11-6 11-4. The other Indian in the fray, Sutirtha Mukherjee, lost to Russian Polina Mikhailova 12-10 7-11 8-11 11-8 10-12 5-11 in a thrilling match.

Sharath Kamal and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan had exited after suffering losses in their respective men’s singles second-round matches.

The Indian paddlers will now shift their focus to the Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament, which is scheduled on March 18-20 in Doha. — Agencies

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