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  • Writer's pictureKIBI Sports

Manika Batra and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran Wins WTT Contender 2021 Mixed Doubles Title

Manika Batra and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran beat 94th ranked Hungarian pair Dora Madarasz and Nandor Ecseki 3-1 (11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 11-6) in the final. Manika Batra and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran put up a clinical show in the mixed doubles final at the WTT (World Table Tennis) Contender Budapest 2021 on Friday as they defeated the Hungarian pair of Nandor Ecseki and Dora Madarasz 3-1.

It is a rare win for Manika and Sathiyan, who don't often pair up with the former usually playing with veteran Sharath Kamal. Manika and Sharath have won bronze at the 2018 Asian Games and qualified for the Tokyo Olympics as well, where they fell in the first round.

The duo came together for the first time since their Commonwealth Games bronze-winning effort. And with only a day or two of practice, they managed to produce the goods. One of their most impressive wins came in the quarterfinals where they overcome World No 7 pair of Barbara Balazova and Lubomir Pistej from Slovakia.

"A win on the international arena is always a commendable result. Personally, after the Olympic disappointment, winning a trophy gives confidence. More the matches I play. the rhythm and sharpness will slowly start coming back," Sathiyan told this daily from the venue.

They started brightly with an 11-9 win in the final but lost the second game 9-11. However, they fought it out to take the third game and then sealed the game in the fourth. Manika had won the Asian Games bronze with veteran Sharath Kamal and, more recently, they played together at the Tokyo Olympics. Sathiyan said it was a tricky final but their toughest challenge came in the quarterfinals when they upset the world number seven duo from Slovakia — Barbara Balazova and Lubomir Pistej — in the quarterfinals.


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