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Manika Batra beats world No 2 Wang at Saudi smash, increases hopes for Paris 2024

Manika Batra beats world No 2 Wang at Saudi smash, increases hopes for Paris 2024

Manika Batra, recently lost her status as India's top-ranked female player to Sreeja Akula

Manika Batra delivered a stunning performance at the Saudi Smash in Jeddah on Monday, defeating World No. 2 Wang Manyu to advance to the round of 16. The win will be a major catalyst for her hopes at the Paris Olympics 2024.

Manika Batra’s remarkable performance at the Saudi Smash

Batra, who recently lost her status as India’s top-ranked female player to Sreeja Akula, triumphed over China’s Wang with a 3-1 scoreline (6-11, 11-5, 11-7, 12-10) in just 37 minutes.

This remarkable victory sets her up for a match against Germany’s Nina Mittelham, the World No. 14, with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line. Batra, currently ranked 39th in the world, began her campaign with a convincing 3-0 win over Romania’s Andreea Dragoman on Saturday, winning 11-6, 13-11, and 11-8 in straight games.

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Other results in Saudi Smash

In mixed doubles, Harmeet Desai and Yashaswini Ghorpade pulled off an upset by defeating the 5th-seeded Spanish duo of Alvaro Robles and Maria Xiao in a tight 3-2 contest (11-5, 5-11, 3-11, 11-7, 11-7). This quarterfinal berth came after Harmeet and Yashaswini edged out Chile’s Nicolas Burgos and Paulina Vega in a similarly close 3-2 opening-round match (11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 4-11, 11-5).

Later in the day, Asian Games bronze medallists Ayhika and Sutirtha Mukherjee were scheduled to face Egypt’s Mariam and Marwa Alhodaby in the round of 32 in women’s doubles, continuing India’s promising performances in the Saudi Smash.

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