Manika Batra, G Sathiyan pair scripts history; win WTT Mixed Doubles Title
In the summit match, the duo defeated local players Nandor Ecseki and Dora Madarasz 3-1.
Insight Bureau: Manika Batra and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran on Friday scripted history by clinching India’s first-ever mixed doubles title at a World Table Tennis Contender event in Budapest. In the summit match, the duo defeated local players Nandor Ecseki and Dora Madarasz 3-1 (11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 11-6).
The Indian duo got things started and won the first game 11-9. In the following game, the Hungarians came back to win 9-11.
Manika and Sathiyan, who don’t play mixed doubles together very often, had a remarkable victory. Manika had previously won bronze with veteran Sharath Kamal in the Asian Games, and they had also competed together at the Tokyo Olympics.
Manika, whose been ranked 60th in singles, had advanced to the semifinals of the same tournament. Meanwhile, Sathiyan was pleased with his performance after losing in the first round of the Tokyo Olympics singles tournament.
Barbora Balazova and Lubomir Pistej of Slovakia were defeated by the duo in the quarterfinals 11-4, 3-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9, before beating Aleksandr Khanin and Daria Trigolos of Belarus in the semis 11-6,11-5,11-4.
Former Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju praised Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra for making history by winning the WTT Contender event for the first time. He tweeted, “Right after Olympics! The India mixed doubles pair of G Sathiyan & Manika Batra script history by winning the 1st ever title at the Contender WTT Event at Hungary of the ITTF! They beat the top seeds and many other formidable pairs. Congratulations @manikabatra_TT @sathiyantt !”