Singapore Smash 2022: India’s men and mixed pairs make progress

Manika Batra of Oilmax Stag Yoddhas during the Tie 5 match of the CEAT Ultimate Table TennisNew Delhi: The men’s doubles pair of Sathiyan and Sharath Kamal moved into the pre-quarterfinals of the $2 million Singapore Smash 2022 on Sunday, but not before the Indians were dragged into the decider by the Chinese Taipei duo of Lin Yun-Ju and Liao Chen-Ting.

The Indians, who won 7-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, did not make an ideal start. They levelled the score only to go down 1-2 by the third game in which the Taipei players, ranked 41, showed better consistency. However, the Indians kept their hopes alive and won the close fourth game and the decider with some authority.

But tomorrow in the next round, the Indians, ranked No. 31, will have a tough job at hand when they take on South Korea’s Lim Jonghoon and Jong Woojin, the world No. 2 pair.

In the mixed doubles, Sathiyan and Manika Batra defeated Victor Ishiy and Bruna Takahashi of Brazil 8-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-1 to enter the quarterfinals. Though the Brazilians won the first game, the Indians turned the heat on them from the second game and maintained it through the match.

The Indians, who are ranked 10th in the world, will clash in the quarterfinals on Monday with the top-seeded and No. 1 pair of Cheng-I-Ching and Lin Yun-Ju from Taipei.

Sathiyan is also slated to play his singles tomorrow against Korean Lim Jonghoon in the round of 32.

Though Manika and Archan Kamath received a first-round bye, the pair did not have to step onto the arena today. But when they do so for their first-round match tomorrow, they will be up against Singapore’s Goi Rui Xuan and Wong Xin Ru. The reputation and their world No. 6 position put the Indian pair clear favourites against the world No. 38 in the pre-quarterfinals.

In the women’s singles, qualifier Ayhika Mukherjee failed to cross the first-round hurdle late yesterday evening when she went down to Chen Szu-Yu from Taipei in straight games of 3-11, 9-11, 8-11.